It is officially spring and summer is hot on our heels

Are you looking to buy your first bike or add another to your growing collection?

Ride it away cycling finance makes buying that new bike instantly affordable.

Key information about finance:

  • Finance may be available on any and all products including bikes, accessories and clothing with every retailer offering different products on finance
  • Finance is typically available on products with a minimum purchase of £250 and a maximum purchase of £15,000

Ride it away retail finance is available at hundreds of retailers across the UK. If you are interested in a certain brand or product, search for a keyword or brand on the Find a retailer page. Find your local dealer and apply for finance.

If you’re interested in figuring out how much you can afford to borrow use the Finance Calculator.

If you have any more questions on Ride it away cycle finance visit the FAQ.

The definitive guide to safer cycling series part 2

cycle city

The definitive guide to safer cycling is a four part series that offers crucial information on important cycling safety statistics as well as helpful tips and advice on how to stay safe whilst cycling at night, during the winter and in any other less-than-ideal situation written by Michael Morris.

Part 2 offers tips for safer cycling including 6 ways to avoid road collisions.

A great way to making sure you can better protect yourself is by:

  • Keeping up-to-date with the Highway Code and how it particularly applies to cyclists
  • You should always be alert when cycling, not taking anything for granted
  • Display your intentions early by signalling and always look and double check before stopping, turning or riding off from start
  • Avoid cycling too close to parked cars, there is the risk of the driver opening the door without looking
  • Never cycle on the path as this could result in a £30 fine
  • When cycling on joint cyclist and pedestrian paths announce to people when you are approaching

Six ways to avoid road collisions

Many cyclists already follow the above advice, they are intended as general guidance, but here are six practices that any cyclist should implement when cycling to make sure they are safe.

Keep away from busy streets

Cyclists can often make the mistake of sticking to the same roads they would when driving. Although this makes sense because you are familiar with the route, those roads are the same roads that all motorists take and therefore there are more vehicles to contend with and a greater risk of being caught up in a collision.

Remember to use your lights

Cyclists should have lights fixed to their bike, especially when travelling in the early morning or late at night. It is shocking how hard it is to see a cyclist when sitting or driving a vehicle so why would you take the risk of cycling at night without lights?

Don’t be afraid to use the whole lane

Staying to the left of the road is normally a wise decision, however, there are certain times when being greedy on the road can keep you safe.

Occasions include:

  • To stop vehicles overtaking on narrow roads
  • To avoid being hit by the opening of a car door
  • In slow moving traffic, so you’re easily visible to all
  • Always signal your intentions

Signalling your turns is very crucial when cycling in case a car is approaching and tries to overtake as you are turning. When cycling make sure to signal early so vehicles around you are aware of your movements.

Ditch the music and mobiles

It is advised to avoid wearing headphones and keep your mobile phone away at all times to ensure that you are not distracted in the slightest.

Cycles as if you’re invisible

This is not to say wear plain clothes or fail to signal appropriately. This is designed to ensure a motorist doesn’t hit you, even if they don’t see you. By staying out of the way on fast roads you’re more likely to keep safe.

Read the full Tips for Bike Safety in the UK.

The definitive guide to safer cycling series part 1

The definitive guide to safer cycling is a four part series that offers crucial information on important cycling safety statistics as well as helpful tips and advice on how to stay safe whilst cycling at night, during the winter and in any other less-than-ideal situation written by Michael Morris.

Part 1 tackles bike safety in the UK exploring cycling casualties and fatalities, types of cycling accidents and common injuries.

Cycling casualties and fatalities

  • Serious accidents occur mostly in urban areas
  • 50% of fatalities are on rural roads where the speed limit is higher
  • Road junctions are responsible for 75% of incidents
  • Male cyclists make up 80% of collisions
  • Head injuries account for up to 75% of major injuries

Types of Cycling Accidents

  • Some contributory reasons for serious injuries in road collisions include:
  • Cycling entering the road from the pavement (20%)
  • A poor turn or manoeuvre (17%)
  • Careless and reckless cycling (17%)

Common Cycling Injuries

  • Drivers emerging from a side road into the path of a cyclist
  • Drivers turning across the natural path of the cyclist
  • Cyclists riding into the path of a vehicle, particularly when entering the road from a path
  • Cyclists turning right on either a major or minor road
  • Children playing on their bikes or riding carelessly

Read the full Introduction to Bike Safety in the UK.

Looking for a favourite cycle route?

If you are up for a challenging multi-day cycle route adventure or are simply looking for that leisurely bike ride for the whole family, there are a multitude of routes that make up the National Cycle Network just for you.

If multi-day bike rides are what you are interested in, then look no further.

Hadrian’s Cycleway

With 174 miles of England’s countryside, Roman forts, museums and attractive market towns this is a challenging adventure but one will impressive views.

Bath to Bournemouth

This route begins in Bath passing through the UK’s longest cycle and walking tunnel at Combe Down. IF you are looking for a cycle trip that will take you along the Bournemouth beaches and stunning views of the Isle of Wight then look no further.

Oban to Campbeltown

Get your chance to explore the spectacular Scottish scenery with a physically demanding challenging hill climbing cycle route.

Are you interested in spring day rides?

Chew Valley Loop

This route takes you out of the busy streets of Bristol and into the Somerset countryside.

London’s Docklands and Lea Valley

You can escape the bustling city and cycle from Greenwich Maritime World Heritage site to Lea Valley cycling along Regent’s Canal towpath, a tranquil waterway in the heart of London.

Are you looking for an adventure that you can take with your family?

Comber Greenway, Northern Ireland

This seven-mile traffic free route follows the old disused railway from Belfast to Comber.

The Clay Trails, Cornwall

These trails consist of multiple routes so you have the freedom to go whatever distance you’d like.

Find out more about all the route that the National Cycle Network offers here.

New traffic-free link on the National Cycle Network

bikepacking

A recent review of the entire National Cycle Network, all 16,575 miles, identified 50 activation projects that Sustrans will focus on fixing and upgrading that are key to improving the entire Network.

Sustrans’ vision is to make all the Network traffic-free or quiet-ways and therefore suitable for people of all abilities.

If you are interested in reading more about the National Cycle Network and the 50 activation projects to achieving Paths for everyone click here.

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.