Choosing your Bike
Before selecting your bike, think about what you are going to use it for, ensuring you buy the right bike for you will make your cycling experience far more enjoyable. In general bicycles fall into the catagories below:
- Road bikes - for longer distance and faster speeds
- Mountain bikes - for comfortable off road riding
- Hybrid/Commuter bikes - for the comfort of a mountain bike with the speed of a road bike
- Folding bikes - ideal for journeys to work by train
- Electric - great if you find riding up hills too difficult
You should also ensure you choose the right size of bicycle for both comfort and safety. You should be able to sit on your cycle with both feet just touching the ground.
Remember to invest in good locks for your bike, as a general rule, price reflects durability. For more advice go to our bike security page.
Maintaining your bicycle is very important for your safety and enjoyment. You should regularly check that your cycle is in good working order to ensure your safety.
- Ensure your brakes are in good working order
- Lights and reflectors should be kept clean and working correctly.
- Tyres are in good condition with no perished walls and plenty of tread. They should be inflated to the pressure shown on the tyre.
- The chain is properly adjusted and oiled
- The saddle and handlebars are secure and adjusted to the right height for you
More information about finding the right bike for you as well as some general advice can be found here.
Where can I cycle?
You can cycle on the main road network or choose to use the many quieter roads or parks in Essex. Some roads have reserved sections for cyclists, making it an even more attractive and safe option for novice cyclists to incorporate into their lives. Many areas have a developed network of cycle tracks which are purpose built or converted footpaths and footways. They are clearly indicated by signs and markings. Cyclists can also use routes marked as byways or bridleways. Some areas have their own cycle maps which can be found here (link to Routes & Maps).
In some areas cyclists and pedestrians share the same space, cyclists MUST keep to the side intended for cycling. Take care when passing pedestrians and be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Cycle lanes are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway, keep within the lane wherever possible.
Essex County Council provides cycle training for children and adults who wish to become more proficient and feel safer whilst riding a bike.