Have you made New Year resolutions? Why not resolve to cycle more in 2024?
Perhaps you have a bike that hasn’t been out of the shed for some time. Now is a good time to give it a check over and get pedalling! Cycling is very low cost, most people can do it, it’s great fun, good for your health and helps the environment!
Here are a few basic tips before you ride:
- Ensure tyres are pumped up firmly (correct max. pressure is usually written on the tyre).
- Oil the chain regularly and wipe off the surplus.
- Check the brakes are effective by squeezing both levers, while dismounted, try pushing the bike and if the wheels still turn then the brakes need adjusting.
- If you are unsure how to adjust brakes, or set saddle height or any other maintenance issues, take your bike to your local cycle shop. Regular servicing is recommended.
- Wear a helmet and invest in a lock to secure your precious bike.
Cycling is a great social activity – riding with a group of friends is enjoyable and can be safer. It’s very important to refuel with coffee and cake at regular café stops!
Cycling in winter
Layer up to keep warm – invest in a waterproof jacket and warm gloves.
Have front and rear lights and use them in daytime in winter to help drivers see you – high viz vest or coat is also recommended for visibility. Be aware that dazzle and glare from low winter sun reduces your visibility to drivers.
Probably best to avoid icy roads but lowering the tyre pressure slightly will improve grip in wet / icy conditions.
Where to cycle is another consideration. From Worksop, you could use National Cycle Network route 6 to cycle to Clumber. The National Trust park is ideal for cycling, with miles of off road cycle tracks.
Route 6 is part of the amazing National Cycle Network covering the UK and promoted / maintained by the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans. Local Sustrans volunteers help maintain the NCN network; a good way to get involved is to contact local Sustrans volunteers via the Bassetlaw Friends of Cycling Facebook group.
Sustrans volunteers are repainting the Millenium signposts, located on the network. This one is by the Chesterfield Canal at Shireoaks. If you are out on the network, see how many you can spot.
Along with others, I have been campaigning to get a network of safe cycle routes. I have worked with Bassetlaw’s Planning Department to help build in cycle infrastructure at the planning stage of new developments, for example, in the Bassetlaw Local Plan.
During 2023, Bassetlaw District Council accessed Cycling UK / government funding to put on free Learn To Ride places for children at local schools and again, more are being planned for this year with participating schools.
Happy cycling in 2024!
Councillor John Shephard, Bassetlaw District Council’s Cycle Champion