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Cycling skills a bit rusty? How to get back on your bike with Swansea Bayways

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Here at Swansea Bayways we are encouraging people to walk and cycle more by swapping some of the short journeys we make by car, by doing them on foot or on two wheels instead.

Swansea Bayways is Swansea Council’s new active travel campaign, promoting its walk and cycle network in and around the City. Swansea Bayways offers around 118km of off-road, high quality walking and cycling routes and infrastructure, with more routes being added all the time, so it couldn’t be easier to get involved. We want more people to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of cycling – to work, college, meetings, or the shops. We also want to encourage people to help create safer, cleaner, quieter streets in Swansea, and to lower their carbon footprint.

If you haven’t been on a bike since the Raleigh Chopper was in style, or if your two-wheeled friend is languishing at the back of the shed behind a veil of cobwebs, here are some tips on getting started.

  • Clean your bike. Make sure the chain is sound and lubricated, check your tyres for punctures, test your brakes, bell, lights and reflectors. Consider taking it to a bike shop to have it serviced.
  • You don’t have to kit yourself out in Lycra to get back on your bike, but invest in a cycle helmet, and make sure trousers and laces are tucked in so they don’t get caught in your chain or pedals. If you are planning to cycle at night or in the evening, you will need reflectors and lights (it’s the law) and it’s advisable that you wear reflective clothing.
  • A cycle lock will give you freedom to leave your bike outside cafes or shops. Similarly, if you plan to cycle to the shops to buy a few essentials, take a rucksack, so you can carry things securely on your back, without compromising your stability.
  • Our Swansea Bayways map and journey planner will show you where the Swansea cycling network is, and it will point out where you can cycle on designated cycling and pedestrian paths, away from traffic.
  • Brush up on your technique. It is, of course, true, that you never forget how to ride a bike. But if you haven’t cycled for a while, there are a number of articles online with tips to help you get back in the swing of it and to get your pedalling technique right. Click here for a handy one.
  • It is important to use all of your senses when cycling, so don’t wear headphones. Consider wearing anti-glare glasses, or sunglasses, particularly if you plan to cycle while the sun is low.

Cycling is a great form of low-impact exercise. It can lift your mood, it is gentle on the joints, it gets you out into nature, and it is great for the environment. So, what are you waiting for? If it’s not far, leave the car.

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