Bike Maintenance

Looking after your bike is an important part of staying safe as a cyclist.

Whilst bikes should be checked and serviced regularly by a professional, there are a number of regular checks that you can carry out yourself to make sure that your bike is safe to ride.

It’s important to carry out basic maintenance checks before each journey. Being familiar with the mechanisms and condition of your bike will help you in case you encounter a problem whilst out cycling.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have produced a short video and a handy checklist to help you check your bike regularly.

Journey Planning

There are lots of online journey planning tools available for cyclists, as well as maps and books that you can buy. By planning your journey and identifying cycling paths or quieter routes where possible, you will make your journey safer and more enjoyable.

Cycling Safety

Helmets
Always wear a cycle helmet that is correctly fitted, secured and conforms to current safety standards. Avoid buying a second hand helmet that may be damaged or have previously been involved in an accident.

Wearing a helmet when cycling won’t prevent a crash but it will protect your head in the event of one, significantly reducing the risk of a fatal or serious head injury.

Be Bright, Be Seen
Wearing bright clothing, preferably something fluorescent and reflective when cycling, will help other road users to see you more easily.

It is illegal to cycle at night without lights. Ensure you have the appropriate lights and reflectors on your bike and that they are in good working order. Test your lights before setting off on each journey.

Further Training
There are lots of initial and further training courses available for cyclists in the West Midlands. Bike Right offer cycling skills tuition, maintenance courses and facilitate led rides.

Bike Security

Take time to consider your bike’s security:

  • invest in a good lock
  • security mark your bike (there are number of ways you can choose to do this)
  • register your bike and consider insuring it
  • ensure your bike is stored and secured safely when out and about and at home

Sharing the Road

It’s the responsibility of motorists and cyclists to share the road. Whether you’re a driver, cyclist or both, an understanding of other road users can help you to read the road, take appropriate action and avoid misunderstandings or conflict between road users.

It’s important to understand the concerns and actions of both road users. This document provided by RoSPA, ‘Sharing the Road Together: Drivers and Cyclists‘, highlights some key concerns, actions and useful tips for both drivers and cyclists.

Advice for parents

Cycling should be encouraged as sustainable, healthy and fun!

When cycling with children it’s best to avoid busy roads and complicated junctions. Try to plan your journeys around local cycle paths, parks, playgrounds or forests.

Many schools offer free Bikeablity training to Years 5 and 6. Alternatively, taking part in led rides or using resources such as ‘Tales of the Road: A highway code for young road users‘ will help increase children’s confidence and understanding of key road safety concerns