On Your Bike!
- AuthorRebecca Bennett
This year’s Cycling UK Bike Week is due to take place from 6- 12 June 2022 and is the perfect time to dust off your bike and get out on two wheels. Here’s what you need to know about #BikeWeekUK:
What is Bike Week?
Bike Week, organised by Cycling UK, is a national week designed to celebrate cycling. This year’s event is focused on the community benefits of cycling and encouraging everyone to get out and enjoy their community by bike, whilst simultaneously helping themselves, their community and the planet.
What can you do?
For those who prefer a challenge to motivate them, Cycling UK have plenty of inspiration, from ‘bike packing’ to cycling up the equivalent elevation of Everest!
Of course, getting on your bike doesn’t have to be as part of an organised ride or challenge, and can be as simple as swapping a commute or trip to the shop from car to bike, or getting out with friends, family or neighbours to explore your local community or a new route.
Benefits of getting ‘on your bike’
The health benefits of cycling are well established and it can reduce the risk of a number of serious illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, as well as having a positive impact on mental health.
The benefits aren’t just linked to your health, but that of the climate too. A switch to the bike on one journey per day reduces a person’s carbon footprint by approximately 0.5 tonnes per year.
Of course, there’s also the cost-saving benefit; it has been reported that if the average person switched to cycling for short journeys of under 5 miles they would save around £100 per year on fuel alone.
Cycling for all
Cycling is a sport that is open to people of all ages and abilities. For individuals with reduced mobility, there are many organisations offering adaptive and inclusive cycling, such as Bike Ability Wales in Swansea and Pedal Power in Cardiff.
More information about inclusive cycling can also be found here.
If you are inspired to dust off the old bike that has been sitting in your shed and go out for a spin, there are a few safety points you should consider first, and whilst out on the road; take a look at our guide to staying safe on two wheels here.
Although a fantastic physical activity for the mind and body, cycling, like most sports, does come with some risks. Here are our tips for staying safe:
- Wear a helmet - Headway UK urges all cyclists to stay safe and wear a helmet and in particular, believes that helmets should be compulsory for all child cyclists. You can read more here.
- Watch out for pedestrians and be aware of the Highway Code - On the 29th January 2022 changes were made to the Highway Code that affects rules relating to cyclists. Here are some of the important changes that cyclists should be aware of.
- Potholes - Hitting a pothole out of nowhere can give you a sudden jolt and in some circumstances could knock you from your bike or divert your course into the path of traffic. Keep alert to the road surface in front of you and if you do spot a pothole you can report it here.
- Attend a bike mechanical workshop – Knowing how to pump up your tyres, change a puncture and look after your bike can help avoid minor and serious injury. Ask your local bike shop if they are running any free workshops to help you with the upkeep of your bike.
Unfortunately, no matter the number of steps we take to minimise risk, we can’t always avoid accidents. It’s worth being aware of what to do in the event of an accident, and you can read more about that here.
It is important that, if a cyclist is involved in an accident, particularly if they are seriously injured as a result, they seek appropriate advice from a specialist solicitor experienced in dealing with significant injuries. As well as considering the immediate effects of the injury, it is important that future prognosis and the need for further treatment or therapy are also considered and taken into account.
Cyclists aren’t required to hold insurance, but it is a worthwhile consideration; you can read more about why cycling insurance is important here.
I am reliably informed that sunshine is booked for 6-12 June and so I look forward to joining you out and about on two wheels over the course of the week to celebrate #bikeweekUK!