Cycle theft in the UK

50% of all bike owners have had a bike stolen.

This accounts for 2% of all reported crimes.

Bicycles are some of the easiest vehicles for thieves to target.

So why not protect yourself from becoming a victim and follow these simple steps:

  • Get a good bike lock
  • Lock your bike to something secure, even if only for a few minutes and avoid isolated places – leave you bike where a potential thief can be seen
  • Lock up removable parts (your wheels) and take light fittings with you
  • Have your bike’s frame security-marked or engraved
  • Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features
  • At home, keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked

Click here to access the full graphic for bicycle theft in the UK in 2019.

Spring checks for your bike

Hybrid - Bike Types

The roads are getting busier and busier with cyclists now that spring has come out to play and the sun is shining more.

But how is your bike doing, having been in the shed over the winter?

Is your bike looking a little dirty perhaps, in some need of some TLC or even some maintenance or repairs?

Why not scrub your hub?

Step one and a quick helpful tip for a bike that has been in the shed all winter is to simply give it a wash.

Grab a bucket of warm soapy water and dry your bike off with a clean cloth removing as much of the water as possible.

Maintain your mechanisms

Step two: lube up your bike.

There is plenty of advice on how to limber up your ride properly but you can always just visit your local bike shop for any further advice.

Tend to your tyres

Step three: check your tyres.

Just pinch your tyre with your thumb and forefinger to assess whether it needs topping up. You tyre should be firm but with a little give as over-inflating tyres can be just as bad for your bike as not having enough pressure.

Shake, rattle and get ready to roll

Step four: give all the moving parts on your bike a once over to make sure they are secure before you jump back onto your bike and take it to the streets.

Brakes at the ready

Step five: test your brakes to make sure they’re not worn.

Check your headset

Finally, step six: check your headset (the part that your forks and stem slot into at the front of the bike) and your crank (the part your pedals are attached to).

These are just a few simple steps to make sure your ride is safe and ready for those summer days that are fast approaching.

The Women’s Festival of Cycling 2019

The Women’s Festival of Cycling, organised and spearheaded by Cycling UK, takes place throughout the UK in July.

Cycling UK calls on everybody, from cycling groups to clubs to individuals to register women-only rides as inspiration for women to cycle.

Even today, women are often underrepresented in the cycling industry and therefore women need the encouragement to start and continue cycling in a female-friendly environment supported by the cycles industry.

During the Women’s Festival of Cycling, Cycling UK will be highlighting exceptional women who promote and encourage others to take part.

You can nominate your female role models this year and celebrate 100 Women in cycling. If you’d like to nominate someone click here!

The Women’s Festival of Cycling event will include cycle rides and events all across the country. You can join the celebration and put on an even in July!

Find out how to do this here!

If you’re in the mood for some inspiration then, why not find out what happened last year!

4 tips for riding with your kids in low light

Kristen Bonkoski presents 4 useful tips for riding in low light with children.

As Spring and Summer are fast approaching, the days are getting longer with a promise of sun-filled evenings.

But, right now and maybe even for the next couple weeks, the days are still shorter with dusk falling so much quicker than it will at the peak of July.

If you’re trying to squeeze in some after-school, after-work evening rides or just some active time with the family why not read these tips so you’re never caught off guard by the setting sun.

4 tips for riding in low light with your family

Mount up lights

Rather than adding bike lights to your bike every time you go for a ride, why not add some fixed lights that you can leave on for times where you find yourself racing the sun.

Kristen recommends the lightweight Knog Frog lights for children as they are light and have a great battery life span.

Add reflective tape

Reflective tape can do a lot, so why not add it to your kids’ helmets, wheels, bike frames and backpacks?

Have your kids wear ankle and knee reflectors

Although reflective vests are great, ankle and knee reflectors are actually more effective. A 2012 study found that drivers saw cyclists with reflective knee and ankle straps 94% of the time, whereas, they saw cyclists with a reflective vest 67% of the time.

Go off-road

In the evening why not give off-road riding a go with the children. Riding trails and canal paths in the dark can be a great adventure.

Take part in Big Pedal 2019

Big PedalTake part in the UK’s biggest cycling, walking and scooting school challenge.

Families are invited to take part in the Big Pedal 2019!

Big Pedal 2019, supported by Angellica Bell, British television, radio presenter and cycling advocate, is a great way to encourage young people from across the UK to travel by bike, foot or scooter to and from school.

“I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter or bike.”

– Angellica Bell

Organised by Sustrans, the competition will run from Monday the 25th of March to Friday the 5th of April.

Across the 10 days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.

Alongside this great competition and for the first time ever, dozens of schools across the UK will be closing the road out the school gates to motor vehicles. This will not only limit the volume of traffic but help to reduce air pollution all while creating an environment in which cycling and walking are safe and enjoyable.

“The Big Pedal may only run for two weeks but can leave a lasting effect on the way children travel to school.”

– Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO

This year’s competition looks to build upon the success of 2019 which saw over 1,300 schools register to take part, with teachers, parents, siblings and school children making more than a million journeys to school by bike or scooter.

Interested in the Big Pedal 2019?

Find out more here.

5 myths about cycling and bad weather

5 myths about cycling and bad weather cycle city

The weather is a constant topic of debate and discussion across the UK and very much associated with cycling.

But with discusses around cycling and weather comes misinformation.

5 common myths about cycling and bad weather

It always rains when I ride my bike

Living in the UK can make this statement feel true. But, we all know the saying,

“There is no such things as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes”.

A rain jacket and a pair of waterproof trousers (if it’s really chucking it down) are really all you need to cycle all year round.

According to data, England gets around 850mm of rain annually and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland get a little more. Denmark and the Netherlands get a comparable 700-900mm respectively and they’re famous for their cycling.

If you can walk in it then you can cycle in it.

It’s fine when it’s a nice day but when it’s windy cycling is impossible

Facing a headwind on a bike can be challenging.

The windiest part of the country, northern Scotland, has wind speeds in some places averaging 14 miles per hour. Although this may sound like a lot, according to the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force, this ranks as just a ‘moderate breeze’.

Wherever you live, cycling to the shops, to work and to school should be possible.

Cycling exposes you to more air pollution than other road users

Air pollution is highly topical and should be a concern whatever form of transport you use.

However, research from King’s College London showed that people cycling might be exposed to far fewer fumes than people in cars and on buses.

If you’re cycling you aren’t contributing to air pollution and you may have the option to take quieter and traffic-free routes.

Cycling exposes you to less air pollution than other types of transport.

If I cycle in the summer then I’ll get sweaty

Of course, speeding up a hill as fast as you can go will cause almost everyone to break into a sweat but, when you’re cycling to work or the shops or to meet friends there is no need for you to be hightailing it across the city.

If being sweaty is your main concern, then leave with just a little more time and go slightly slower. Bikes are made to be efficient so you can potter along and still get where you’re going in good time.

If you cycle at a steady pace then it is no more taxing than walking.

It’s too cold to cycle

The average temperature in the UK during winter is a little less than 4 degrees and while this isn’t shorts and t-shirts weather it doesn’t mean that the bike has to be abandoned during the colder months.

Normally, a few thin layers and a jacket is all you need to be nice and toasty. During the winter there is the risk of ice so either check the weather forecast or take extra care on the quieter routes that are unlikely to have been gritted.

Even on a cold morning, you’ll feel nice and warm after five minutes of moderate cycling. The UK weather is actually really good for cycling without extremes of hot and cold.

So in 2019, don’t let the weather be your excuse for not getting on your bike and enjoying the great outdoors.

Bikepacking through Scotland

Bikepacking through Scotland

bikepacking

Scotland is one of the best holiday destinations if you are looking to spend your days outside discovering the lands through open trail paths, mountain passes and tiny country roads by bike.

So why not try your hand at bikepacking?

What is bikepacking?

Think backpacking, but with a bike.

Bikes can take you virtually any place in the world.

Explore the backcountries on your bike.

If this is something that interests you then check out http://bikepackingscotland.com/

Find out about all the unique, astonishing routes http://bikepackingscotland.com/routes/

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 2019 has launched

What is Prudential RideLondon? RideLondon

It is the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

Prudential RideLondon 46 is one of three sportives, designed to challenge all cyclists.

Prevent Breast Cancer has been appointed the first ever Charity of the Year for the 46 event taking place on Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th of August.

Who is Prevent Breast Cancer?

Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. This charity funds research into the different factors increasing the risk of breast cancer, a disease that affect one in nine women in the UK in their lifetime.

Event Director of Prudential RideLondon, Hugh Brasher said:

“We are delighted to be working with Prevent Breast Cancer as the first Charity of the Year for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46. We look forward to helping the charity maximise fundraising and raising awareness of the great work that Prevent Breast Cancer does.”

Among the many cyclists looking to take part in this event to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer is the BBC journalist and former GB para-cyclist Sally Hurst.

Sally Hurst said:

“I’m a keen cyclist and a huge supporter of Prevent Breast Cancer, so taking part in this ride for the charity was a no-brainer. Training for the ride will be a great way to keep active and is a unique chance to take to London’s streets with no traffic. It gives those who have been affected by the disease an incentive to get on their bikes and help raise awareness. And, of course, raise money to pay for vital research, while enjoying themselves in the process.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer just 12 years after losing my leg to bone cancer was absolutely devastating and I had some very dark days. I’m one of the lucky ones, but no one should ever have to hear those words ‘I’m sorry, it’s cancer’ which is why prevention is so important, and why I’m taking part in this ride – to empower and encourage those affected – to do something positive.”

So call on your friends and family to sign up and ride in aid of the charity.

Anyone interested please enter the ballot here.

If you’d like to fundraise specifically for Prevent Breast Cancer, click here for more information.

Any more information, visit www.preventbreastcancer.org.uk.

Big Pedal 2019

Big Pedal 2019 is organised by the leading cycling and walking charity, Sustrans, and will run from the 25th of March to the 5th of April. children on bikes

Schools are now being invited to take up the challenge and compete with participating primary and secondary schools to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.

Angellica Bell, British television radio presenter and cycling advocate, is backing this year’s competition.

Angellica Bell said:

“I’m delighted to be supporting this year’s Big Pedal. It’s a fantastic way to encourage more children to cycle, walk or scoot – doing wonders for their health and the environment around them. I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter of bike for their journey to school.”

Dozens of schools across the UK will be closing the roads outside the school gates to help reduce air pollution as well as to create an environment in which cycling and walking is safe and enjoyable.

Sustrans CEO, Xavier Brice, believes that even a 2 week event like Big Pedal 2019 will leave a lasting effect on the way people and children travel to school.

This year’s theme is ‘Travelling around the body’, children can track their progress on a wall chart, learn about the human body and how active travel benefits their health.

Both schools and classes will be entered into daily prize draws for rewards if more than 15% of a school cycle, walk or scoot each day of the challenge. Prizes include scooters.

Volunteering with Sustrans in the New Year

Sustrans has 3,500 amazing volunteers across the UK making a real difference in the local areas.

What does volunteering with Sustrans mean?

You could spruce up the National Cycle Network, encourage and empower people to walk and cycle, improve the wildlife and inspire young children in schools to get active.

Do you want to make a difference within your community?

volunteer

Try out volunteering with Sustrans this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Join the group of passionate rangers volunteering to make the National Cycle Network safe for everyone.

Sign up here.

Play a crucial role in inspire your local community to walk or cycle this New Year and get active.

Sign up here.

Help monitor and improve the greenways for plants and wildlife as a wildlife volunteer.

Sign up here.

Find out what Sustrans events are near you here.

Become a Sustrans volunteer today and make a difference.