Begin and Learn
Kids love to get on their bikes.
Learn to Ride
There are lots of ways to learn to ride a bike, and become a confident cyclist.
Here's some great advice about how to help your child get started on a bike.
Balanceability is a great way for young children to get started on two wheels. Sessions are organised at leisure centres.
Most Primary Schools offer cycle training, and some have 'bike clubs' after school to teach skills and give confidence. Ask at school, or contact your local School Sport Partnership.
Go Ride is the British Cycling programme for junior cycling opportunities with clubs. Find your local Go Ride club here. If they don't offer tuition for complete beginners, they will probably be able to point you in the right direction locally.
Share a ride with your friends.
If you need to learn to ride a bike, or haven't been on two wheels for years, why not get some one-to-one tuition from a local instructor or coach. Ask your local authority or cycling club about what's on offer nearby.
Otherwise, ask at your local bike shop. They're bound to know local coaches and instructors who could help.
It's OK to stop - or walk!
Many people make the mistake of believing that cyclists never stop, or walk. This is not true. It is perfectly acceptable to have a break in your ride - a café stop, or a short rest. You're much more likely to stick with it, if you start slowly, make it enjoyable, and build up gradually.
Cycling is a great group activity.
Find a friend, a beginners' group, or an app!
Evidence shows that people who enlist the support of a friend or join a beginners cycling group (such as Breeze for women), are more likely to stick with it, and succeed long term.
Cycling apps, freely available to download, will help you to see the progress you're making. They will also show you routes that other people are riding, and give you ideas of where to go.
Think carefully about your bike purchase.
What sort of bike?
It's important to feel happy and comfortable when you're cycling, and to have a roadworthy bike, but you don't need to spend a fortune.
Second hand bikes are a good way to start, or perhaps you could get a bike on a Cycle to Work scheme, to spread the payments out. Derbyshire has lots of bike hire centres, so have a go on some hire bikes, to see what you like.
Think about what you're likely to most enjoy, and get some advice from friends and bike shops about the type of bike that's suitable for what you want to do (road, hybrid, mountain bike etc).
Bikewear is a matter of personal choice.
What to wear
Other than making sure your clothes are suitable for the weather conditions, and won't get caught up in the bike, it doesn't really matter what you wear. There's no need 'lycra fear.'
Ordinary clothes are fine for cycling around town, and normal sports kit is fine for longer rides. Have a think about some padded shorts, and perhaps some gloves, for comfort and safety.
A bike helmet is a personal decision, but one worth giving serious consideration to, especially if you're riding on the roads or more technical trails.
There are lots of places to get good kit- online, and at your local cycling shop, where you can get good advice about the right kind of bike and gear for what you want to do.
Find a route
You can take advantage of a whole network of Derbyshire cycle routes, which are detailed by through the link by each district.
There are lots of cycling apps.
Download an app
There are lots of great apps that will help you to plan and log your rides, and develop a supportive community around you.
They allow you to see how far you've ridden, compare progress with friends and family and give an added sense of enjoyment.
Sharing the Road Together: Drivers and Cyclists
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has issued an advice sheet, which you can download below.
It aims to provide simple safety tips for both drivers and cyclists on how they can share roads and avoid conflicts caused by not understanding each other's needs and actions.
- RoSPA Advice for cyclists and drivers 2015 (2) (PDF, 2.2 Mb)
For more information
There's so much great information and advice out there for new and improving cyclists.
Find some good social media pages to follow, subscribe to a cycling magazine, or have a browse on the internet. You'll find inspiration, helpful tips, and lots to keep you motivated.