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New or returning to cycling?

We know that if you're considering, new or returning to cycling after a long time, it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. We’ve got all you need to help you get started and continue going!

Useful Information

Click the sections below to find out more.

What should I take with me for my journey?

Most of the time, all you really need is a well maintained bike. However, other things you might find useful are:

  • Water
  • ID
  • Cash/Card
  • Phone
  • Food
  • Gilet/ Waterproof
  • Map
  • Inner tubes and patches
  • Tyre levers
  • Pump
  • Multitool
  • Quick release chain link

This checklist will help you

You don’t need fancy lycra to ride your bike, most people wear their everyday clothing for their commute. Just watch out for loose clothing that can get caught (like trousers at the ankle; using a clip can secure this).

We recommend these extra optional items to consider, to help keep you safe:

  • White front and red rear lights
  • A helmet that fits well and is worn correctly
  • Hi vis clothing e.g. belt and jacket
  • Slap band or clip around right trouser to avoid getting caught in chain and rings

If you’d like to find out more, British Cycling has some great tips on kitting up for your ride.

Learn how to ride and build confidence

One for the cycling considers and those new to cycling.

Attend a local cycle training session to learn how to ride a bike, develop skills and much more...

Building your confidence

If you already have a bike, make sure it is safe to ride by taking it to your local bike shop for a service

  • Practice using quiet streets and parks
  • Plan ahead by finding a local cycling route
  • For more information on ways you can get started on your bike, check our Cycling UK’s 10 step guide.
Cycle routes

There are many cycle lanes along key routes that can help with your journeys. The West Midlands has one of the most extensive canal networks, connecting majority of our towns and cities - our region is a great place to cycle

  • Cycle maps: To help you plan your ride, see our cycling maps. You can use the highway network (including cycle tracks, cycle lanes and signposted cycle routes on quiet roads) or go off-road to explore miles of greenways, woodland tracks and your canal network
  • Find a cycle route in your area
Bike maintenance

If you are getting your bike out for the first time this year, it’s important to make sure it’s in good working order.

Use our helpful step-by-step guide that will assist you with brakes, gears, punctures and safety checks.

Visit our safety and maintenance page for more tips.

Local bike shops

Whether you want to purchase or hire a bike or even learn to ride, there are a number of places that can make it easier for you!

You can buy or hire bikes in the West Midlands at from a number of Shops and Local Training Providers.

Looking after your bike

Prevent bike theft

  • You can buy a gold standard D lock for just £10 from our travel centres at Birmingham New Street Station, Wolverhampton Bus Station.

Top tip: To get the discounted lock just show a valid public transport ticket

  • Avoid leaving your bike outside overnight.
  • Don't leave your bike chained to pipes, railings or road signs because thieves can remove or cut right through them!
  • If possible, it’s best practice to use two good quality locks – one for the back wheel and one for the front. Hardened Steel D Locks are recommended as a minimum standard.
  • Lock the frame and both wheels high up on the cycle stand to prevent the locks from being brought down to the ground.
  • Check the lock and bike is hard to move around the bike stand once locked
  • Remove parts and accessories that can't be secured, especially lights, pumps and quick-release saddles or wheels.

Cycle Storage

  • Whenever possible, use secure cycle storage. At rail stations we provide Cycle Hubs, bike lockers and cycle hoops. Find out more about bikes on public transport.
Your local cycling routes

There are many cycle lanes along key routes that can help with your journeys. The West Midlands has one of the most extensive canal networks, connecting majority of our towns and cities - our region is a great place to cycle

  • Cycle maps: To help you plan your ride, see our cycling maps. You can use the highway network (including cycle tracks, cycle lanes and signposted cycle routes on quiet roads) or go off-road to explore miles of greenways, woodland tracks and your canal network
  • Find a cycle route in your area.
Road safety for cyclists

One of the biggest preventions of people cycling is safety concerns. Whether you’re new to cycling or have been doing it for years, it’s always good to learn and remind yourself of safety measures when cycling on the road. 

See how you can make your commute to work safely on the pedal. Paul Robison, from our partners at Bikeability Trust, breaks down how to get out on the road with confidence.

Initiatives from our partners

Free services for key workers

  • Cycles for key workers: Our friends at Sustrans have pulled together some great offers from across the region for frontline staff. These include FREE bike hire, repairs and equipment
  • Big Bike Revival: Cycling UK are helping keep key workers pedalling (or getting them cycling if they don’t have access to a working bike). From bike safety checks and repairs to bike loans – this scheme ensures that key workers can get to where they need to go.

British Cycling's family rides together

  • Every child should get a chance to learn how to ride a bike. There is no age restriction on when they should start pedalling. HSBC UK have launched their Ready Set Ride programme, with FREE quick and easy games to help you teach your child how to pedal. Family bike rides are a great way to get some fresh air and exercise together. Visit British Cycling's HSBC UK Let’s Ride for ideas and inspiration on keeping your family motivated and safe whilst cycling in your local area.

For organisations and employers

  • Cycle to Work Scheme: If you're looking to purchase a new bike, we encourage you to speak to your employer about the Department for Transport’s Cycle to Work scheme. The scheme enables employees to pay nothing up front and spreads the cost of your new bike and/or kit in equal monthly instalments. This is taken from your salary before tax and National Insurance contributions.

Getting ready to ride?



Join Love to Ride, the online cycling platform for everyone. Set goals, track mileage, access resources and share progress with others.


A great place to go when getting started!


Register as an individual or group

Get active and travel safer


For a guide on how to fit cycling, walking or running in your day for your short journeys and daily exercise, whilst social distancing.

Click here