(These are from Cycle Law Scotland, so are for information, rather than an endorsement of them. Full disclosure: LHNCC’s webweaver (Bruce Ryan) is personally in favour of CLS’s work. He particularly likes tips 6 and 14: don’t cycle on the pavement and do enjoy your cycling! He adds: in these benighted times, a decent lock is a must.
You can download a PDF of these hints and tips from CLS HINTS AND TIPS INFO CARD. Please distribute it however you can!)
- ‘M’ Check – before every cycle it is worth carrying out the ‘M’ check to make sure your bike is in working order and ready for your planned route.
- Helmet – although not a legal requirement, wearing a helmet is advisable and will protect your head from injury in a low speed impact. It will also keep the wind out of your hair.
- Bike Lights – if you are cycling in the dark, lights are a legal requirement. Light up, they help you to be seen but also help you to see the road ahead.
- Bell – can be particularly useful on cycle paths. They can be used to warn others of your presence to avoid incidents between cyclists and pedestrians and cyclists with other cyclists.
- High Visibility Clothing – although not a legal requirement, it does help to increase your visibility on the road. It is also advisory under the Highway Code.
- Pavements – it is illegal to cycle on the pavement unless it is a shared use path. A shared path will have a blue sign with a bicycle showing that you are allowed to cycle there.
- Primary & Secondary Road Positions – adopting a primary position on the road helps to increase your visibility and safety.
- Planning Your Route – tell someone where you plan to go if you are out cycling alone. If you know the route and how far you are planning to cycle, you can make sure you have enough food and water with you as well as the likely hazards you may come across.
- Puncture Repair Kit, Tube & Pump – it is always helpful to carry these when out cycling. Even if you cannot repair a puncture, another cyclist may be able to stop and provide assistance.
- Dress for the Weather – the weather is ever-changing in Scotland so make sure to check the forecast and plan your route and any stops accordingly. A waterproof is all too often required. You can store this in a small rucksack.
- Glasses – helpful in sun, wind or rain and especially when you have all three! Glasses protect your eyes against insects and from your eyes watering which can blur your vision.
- Take your Mobile – This allows you to take lovely photos while out enjoying your ride but also enables you to call for help if you ever need to.
- Take Cash – for any cake and coffee stops you want along the way.
- Enjoy being out on your bicycle – remember, you have every right to be there. Cycling is a great way to get around; it’s good for your health and for the environment.