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Before you ride

To make your ride as enjoyable as possible, it's a good idea to carry out some simple bike checks before stepping on to the pedals:

  1. Check that all your lights are working
    Even during the day it may be necessary to use your lights if the weather is bad. Never cycle at night without lights.
    • A front lamp is required, showing white light. The lamp must be positioned centrally or slightly offside, up to 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the front.
    • A rear lamp is required, coloured red, positioned centrally or slightly offside, between 350mm and 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the rear. Any number of additional lights may be added providing they adhere to the conditions above.
  2. Reflectors should be visible and clean
    • Rear reflectors are required by law on all bicycles.
      Rear reflector should be coloured red, positioned centrally or slightly offside, between 350mm and 900mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the rear.
    • Pedal reflectors are required on all bicycles manufactured after 1st October 1985. Pedal reflectors should be coloured amber; four are recommended, positioned so that one is plainly visible to the front and rear of each panel.
  3. Ensure the pressure of the tyres is correct
    The safe tyre pressure for your bike should be marked on the tyre sidewall. Check the tyres for obvious marks, cuts, or excessive wear - never ride a bike with a damaged tyre.
  4. Check your brakes
    They should be aligned correctly to stop the bike. You must have separate working brakes on the front and rear of your bicycle. If not don’t ride the bike until they have been adjusted properly. If in any doubt take your bike to a bike shop where they will be happy to help you.
  5. Cycle helmets should comply with National Safety Standard BS 6658/1985 or equivalent. Ask for fitting advice when purchasing a new helmet and always replace your helmet after a knock as the impact could weaken the helmet.
  6. Saddle height
    A saddle should be adjusted so that you are able to cycle comfortably, when seated your feet should be able to touch the ground with approximately half your foot.
  7. Clothing
    When riding at night or in bad weather, cyclists are highly recommended to wear bright and reflective clothing.