Free maintenance help is available in Coventry - see
Preparing for a Safe Ride
If you are used to cycling fair distances on the open road, then this section is not really for you.
If however you are not very experienced, then read on.
This section is divided into several parts, and you might care to read and think about them all.
Getting yourself ready
If you are unsure if you can cycle for say 25 or 30 miles, then it is easy to build upto it.
You could for example try riding on some of the traffic free routes in the area
- Stratford Greenway - about 5 miles each way - and flat (it's an old railway route).
- Birdingbury/Draycott - it's about 3 miles on an old railway to Draycott, where you
can get access to the reservoir which is 5 miles round. So a
simple trip is some 11 miles. And there's nothing to stop you
going round the reservoir several times.
- Most of the Coventry canal tow path is now a traffic free cycle route.
Kenilworth Greenway runs from Kenilworth to Warwick University/Balsall
Common, although there is no exit at Balsall Common for bikes.
You could easily make up a 20 mile traffic free ride here.
Getting your Bike Ready
nearly any bike will do for a ride, it does need to be in fair
condition. So before you try a longish ride for the first time,
check the following
Check the spokes are sound, and
that there is no buckle in the wheel when
you rotate it.
Check that the wheel nuts are not loose.
Check that the tyres are properly
inflated, are not cracked, don't have
damaged side walls.
Check that the inner tubes are not perished.
front and rear brakes. The pads should be properly aligned and
not too worn. Brake cables should not show signs of being cracked
- Make sure that the handlebars, pedals and saddle are secure and positioned comfortably.
- Make sure the gears change smoothly.
Everytime you go for a ride, always check the tyres and brakes.
Making sure you are Safe
Like other sporting pastimes, you need to understand how
to participate in a safe way. If you do not do this, you are
likely to be a danger to yourself, other riders with you and other road
users and pedestrians.
One of the main issues that we ask is that all riders obey the rules
and laws of the road (even if you think that in a given circumstance
they are unhelpful). We also ask that riders show full
consideration and courtesy to other road users and pedestrians, even if
we are not shown the same courtesy by them.
There are lots of places to seek guidance, and some are listed here
. These are documents that we have found useful - published by outside organisations.
Please take time to read them, and understand their implications.
It is important for all our safety that you ride in a considerate
and thoughtful way.