Today we'll hand over to another guest blogger who will give us some hints and tips on getting into cycling and riding around the city... 

Photo of a bike on the bandstandBrighton and Hove is a city which has a tradition of cycling involvement and it seems to be growing rapidly every year but how do you make the most of it this February? This article addresses some of the trending topics in the cycling community, with references to a few useful websites.

How to fit cycling in your fitness routine? 

A few ideas on how to do this: Depending upon someone's level of fitness and the amount of recreational and leisure time at their disposal, a good idea would be to cycle up to four times per week for a distance which would be suitable and relevant to an individual's fitness levels. If you can commute to work every day and if possible cycling to work is an excellent way to help with fitness and there is no shame in cycling at walking pace. Another idea, is to record your miles on a calendar, to give that extra ‘mental push’. Like most things, if you get over that initial hurdle, it becomes much more fun. Cycling with a group is good motivation. The ‘British Cycling Federation’ has lots of training plans for cyclists of all levels, from beginners to Intermediate.

Safety not only in numbers…but also in lights 

According to the The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, statistics mention in 2014 an overall of about 113 cyclists are killed and an alarming number of about 3401 are seriously injured, on the road.

Here are just a few tips of bike safety:

  • The most common bike safety advice is to wear a helmet.
  • Following the law is also beneficial advice. If the light is green, go, if its red, stop - Don’t jump the traffic lights!
  • Use hand signals if you can’t make eye contact with a driver of a vehicle.
  • Don’t ride against the traffic, ride with the traffic in the same direction.
  • Do not stop in the blind spot, rather stop behind a car instead of on the ‘right side’ of the car which makes you visible to traffic.
  • Refrain from riding on the pavement.
  • If you are riding at night, get a front headlight and rear flashing light
  • Wearing something bright and with high visibility, even during the day, which helps a lot for visibility.
  • Avoid busy streets and ride slowly in busy areas.

For more safety tips see what Bicycle Safe has to say or Sustrans tips for cycling on roads.

Blaze Laser lights can be preordered now and are priced at £125, ‘the light comes with a bracket to attach it to handlebars, is waterproof and the internally sealed battery is charged via a USB cable. The laser can only be used when attached to the bike. The green light is visible during the day but not effective, says Brooke, and is really aimed for night use when "you can't miss it". The bicycle symbol - instead of branding or writing - was chosen to ensure it was universally recognized.

Cycling Routes and Cycle Lanes

There are a lot of online resources to plan your cycling routes. The ‘mapmyride’ website has a few options for both cycling trails and routes:

Brighton & Hove City Council has transformed the Lewes Road, a busy 4.5km dual carriageway carrying 25,000 vehicles per day, into a rapid transit style bus and cycle corridor by reallocating an entire lane in each direction from general traffic into a bus and cycle lane.

A few examples of cycling infrastructure in and around Brighton:

  • Old Shoreham Road, Brighton - an innovative "continental" design of cycle route along a fast road.
  • Brighton to Eastbourne – if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous you could head out along the south coast to Newhaven traveling along the countryside of national cycle route two. The views of Brighton Marina and the costal line are not to be missed. Thanks to GPS and cycling walking routes we have a full description of the route
  • Devils Dyke – Venture out to the South Downs for some cross country. Perfect family day out with Food and drink facilities at Devils Dyke Inn. Check out South Downs cycling for more routes.

A further source of information, The Cycle Brighton website, mentions 3 ‘superb’ flat cycle routes starting in Brighton:
Route 1 – Coastal Rottingdean
Route 2 – Coastal Worthing
Route 3 – Bramber Castle

Accreditation: The article was written by Tim Brierly of TBProcycling, who is a Brighton and Hove based consultant in commercial rights and sponsorships for professional road cycling teams, riders and races worldwide

Thanks again to Tim for today's post and don't forget to visit www.visitbrighton.com for more information on Cycling in Brighton.

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