- Tyres – Should be pumped up. Check for punctures and bald patches.
- Brakes – Do they work? Check for worn brake blocks or badly adjusted cables.
- Chain – Check that it is not too loose or too tight. Oil it at least once a month.
- Saddle – Check that it is the correct height (you should be able to touch the floor with both feet). Do not raise the saddle above the safety mark on the tube.
- Lights – Fit lights and ensure that they work if you intend to ride in the dark or in bad weather.
- Reflectors – It is a legal requirement to have a red rear reflector as well as lights when cycling at night. Remember to clean lights and reflectors regularly.
- Frame/Forks – Check for cracks and fractures.
- Equipment – Make sure accessories such as pumps, mudguards or locks properly secured to the bike. Consider investing in a good lock to protect your bike when you leave it in a public place.
Simple but important tips for safer cycling
- A bicycle ceases to be a toy when it is used on the road. When riding a bicycle you must comply with road laws, which are designed for the safety of all road users. A bike is a vehicle and should be maintained in a roadworthy condition at all times.
- Helmets – By law you must wear a properly designed cycle helmet whenever you ride your bike. A helmet will not stop you having an accident but it will reduce the risk of a serious head injury by 85%.
- Be seen – Wear something that is light coloured, reflective and/or fluorescent to be easily seen by other road users.
- Observation – Be aware of your surroundings, look and listen. Always give clear signals for your safety and for that of others.
- Plan your route – Where possible choose a route that you are comfortable with and wherever possible avoid busy roads and junctions. Pick routes where you can use bike lanes and shared off road paths as much as possible, but be aware of pedestrians, particularly the elderly and very young. Remember to Share with Care.
Tips for new cyclists
First trip – be visible
Get to know your route
Lock up your bike