Support To Start Cycling

By SarahWhelan 06 Apr 2020

Cycling is a great way to move around Edinburgh and commute to campus but, if the last time you cycled was outside of the city, it can feel a bit daunting. 

We've put together some tips and support for you to make getting on yer bike as easy and enjoyable as possible.

a man riding on the back of a bicycle

So, you're set up with a road worthy bike, got your helmet and some lights...what's next?

Cycling amongst traffic in a city can take some getting used to but here are our top 5 tips

  1. Be seen. You are legally obliged to have front and rear lights when riding between dusk and dawn, all year round. It will help you be seen by all other road users and light your way on unlit roads (Holyrood Park!)
  2. Be assertive. You don't have to, and shouldn't, hug the kerb. It may seem safer but it is where road debris accumulates and there are drains/cones etc. When riding you should position yourself 1 metre from the kerb. At times it is safest to ride in the centre of your lane (primary position) to avoid cars trying to overtake on narrow roads or when you are making a manoeuvre. 
  3. Indicate. When turning left or moving into the kerb lift your left arm out at right angles to your body, hold the signal for 3 seconds. Repeat for turning right but with the right arm. If you don't feel comfortable making a manoeuvre, indicate that you are moving towards the kerb, dismount and make the turn on foot when safe to do so. 
  4. Adhere to traffic rules. It can feel tempting to continue through a red light when you can see there is no traffic or do go up a one way street but it's against the highway code and is dangerous. Be patient and if you want to cross with the green man, dismount and walk with your bike. Some streets have counter flow systems on one way streets that allow cyclists to travel in both directions, this will be well signed. 
  5. Avoid Car Doors. Keep the 1 metre distance when overtaking parked cars, this will keep you safe if the car door unexpectedly opens into the road. 
a man riding on the back of a bicycle

Get even more tips at Cycling UK

If you would like more support or are keen to cycle with a group to help build confidence, then message Cycle Connections to find out about our regular led rides and cycle skills courses, all free of charge.

Cycle Scotland have some great resources to explore, from courses to short videos. Check them out HERE

QMU has some great cycle links. Route 1 is nearly completely traffic free and runs from the Meadows right to campus. Find it and other great cycle routes at Cycle Streets or get in touch with Cycle Connections.

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