Be Safe Be Seen Cycle safety poster

Safer Cycling

The best way to get around Cambridge is by bicycle. Not only is it usually the fastest way to get from one place to another, it's also good for you and good for the environment.

Be Safe Be Seen Cycle safety poster
Cycling on College grounds

All bicycles must be marked with a College registration number assigned at the Porters' Lodge. Racks are provided around the perimeter of the College and bicycles left there should always be locked. There is a designated area outside the front gate for visitors to park their bicycles and one of the bicycle sheds is reserved for staff bicycles. Students are asked not to park their bicycles in these spaces. If you do, you may find your bicycle is removed.

For safety reasons bicycles are not allowed in the Front, East or West Courts, and must not be ridden or left in any of the other courts.

Please do not bring your bicycle into any of the buildings, including your bedroom.

Cycle Safely

Know the law. The Highway Code is available in the College library and online.

Take a practical training session. The University is offering free group and 1-to-1 Cycle Skills sessions for students.

Go on green. Do not cycle through red traffic lights.

Keep to your lane. Do not cycle on the pavement, unless it is a cycle path.

Stay sober. Do not cycle on the road if you are drunk. You could be subject to a £1000 fine.

Light up. You must have lights on your bicycle when cycling at night and in low visibility conditions. Fortunately WCSA and the College have partnered to provide inexpensive cycling lights to students (see below). 

Stay aware. Be aware of your surroundings, watch the road for uneven surfaces, pot holes and other hazards.

Share the road. Look out — and listen — for other traffic, particularly buses and large vehicles. Look out for tourists and other pedestrians walking into the road without looking.

Be weather wise
Watch the wind. Cross-winds may blow you in unexpected directions. Don’t ride too close to gutters and kerbs and be aware of traffic overtaking you.

Be ready for rain. Roads can become slippy after rain, particularly if covered with autumn leaf-fall. Take care riding through puddles, the hole may be deeper than you expect! Begin braking earlier in wet conditions as braking distance increases on wet roads and your bike’s brakes may be less effective when wet.

Snow sense. Be very careful riding on icy roads. Ice can be difficult to see in advance. Quiet roads, like Selwyn Gardens Road at the back of the College, can be very slippery in freezing conditions.
Cycle clothing

Stand out. It is recommended the cyclists wear high-viz reflective clothing to make sure you can be seen by other road-users. Bike stores stock a range of clothing and accessories:

  • Reflective ankle and wrist bands are a cheap option and easy to carry.
  • Reflective fluorescent (and waterproof!) rucksack covers keep your possessions dry as well as making you visible.
  • Reflective fluorescent vests can be put on over your regular clothing.
  • A fully reflective jacket might be a good investment if you'll often be riding in the dark. 

Help your head. Cycle helmets are not compulsory in the UK, but can offer added protected in the event of a fall. There are many different styles, designs and price ranges. You should be able to purchase a decent helmet for around £30 - £45. Or look out for innovative technology like this neck-worn airbag-helmet by Swedish start-up Hovding. 

Lighten up

Be bright. It is a legal requirement that you must have lights on your bike when cycling after dark. Winters in Cambridge are dark, with dusk setting in as early as 16.00. Even with street lighting it can be difficult for drivers to see cyclists. To comply with the law you need a red light at the rear of your bike and a white light at the front. The lights must be located between 35cm and 150cm from the ground.

Feeling foggy? It can be useful to use your lights in low visibility conditions (on foggy mornings) and also at the times of dawn and dusk when the sun is low and glare may prevent other road-users from seeing you.

Buying a bike

There many bicycle shops in Cambridge where you can purchase both new and second-hand bicycles. Some other options are to purchase one from another student (they are often advertised on the WCSA Facebook pages) or to obtain one from the Owl charity, which renovates donated bicycles and sells them for charity.

Security

Bike theft is the single most common crime affecting students in Cambridge. We recommend several security measures to protect your bike:

  • Bikes kept on site for more than 24 hours must be registered with the Porters’ Lodge.
  • If stolen, your bicycle is covered by the College’s insurance policy, but only if it is locked to a permanent structure or immoveable object.
  • Lock it or lose it! Lock both wheels and the frame to a bike stand using a high quality lock, or use two locks.
  • Advice on locking your bike from Cycling UK
  • Advice on purchasing a bike lock from The Best Bike Lock, Cycling Weekly, The Wirecutter and the Independent.
Maintenance

Fix it yourself. There is a sheltered bicycle repair area with tools and a tyre pump behind S block. The Porters have a limited range of tools and another wheel pump should these not be sufficient.

The University also has a number of bicycle repair areas around town.
 

 

 

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