Top tips for cyclists

Whether you use them for a nice and safe family cycle ride in the great outdoors, or use them to commute from A to B avoiding busy roads, shared paths are really useful and fantastic for cyclists. Following our top tips for cyclists will ensure using shared paths is a positive experience for everyone.

  • Put a bell on your bike! Pedestrians welcome a polite warning of your approach. If you don’t have a bell, use a friendly greeting instead and always do this in plenty of time so you don’t surprise people or animals when approaching from behind.
  • Important: don’t ring your bell near horses, instead talk to the rider and check it is safe to pass.
  • Take care when passing other path users and ride at an appropriate speed. If necessary wait to pass until there is enough room.
  • Important: don’t ride fast when pedestrians are around.
  • Give way to pedestrians and wheelchair users, if you need to.
  • Be aware that pedestrians may have hearing impairments or be wearing in-ear headphones so might not hear your bell, so pass slowly and give as much space as possible.
  • When cycling on segregated shared paths, always keep to your side of any dividing lines.
  • Say a quick ‘thank you’ as you pass. Polite behaviour encourages others to share the space better.
  • Keep to the left when passing oncoming pedestrians or cyclists. Overtake on the right of any pedestrians and cyclists going the same way as you (like on the road). Again, do not ride too quickly. Think... if a pedestrian stepped into your path could you stop in time?
  • Be particularly careful at junctions, bends, entrances onto the path, or any other ‘blind spots’ where people or animals could appear without warning.
  • Groups of cyclists should ride in single file when approaching pedestrians on a shared pathway.
  • In dull and dark weather make sure you have bike lights on so you can be seen. It’s also a good idea to wear hi-visibility clothing too.
rating button