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Creating skilled cyclists

Creating skilled cyclists

The 2018-19 academic year has seen a huge boost in participation in our programme of cycle skills sessions and events. These are aimed at helping University cyclists keep themselves and other safe while cycling on and off campus. Over 200 participant-sessions have been run since August 2018, with over 70 individuals now trained in safe road cycle skills. Some of these were complete beginners or hadn’t been on a bike since childhood and were offered support including use of loan bike and helmets along with additional sessions if needed to get skills and confidence up to cycling on roads;  while others just needed one or two to learn/ brush up on the UK highway code and pick up tips for more efficient cycling / basic bike safety checks.


A range of Nationalities have taken part which highlighted some interesting differences in cycling rules across countries:

Did you know that Canadian Cyclists signal right by using their left arm bent up at the elbow – or that Taiwanese cyclists use their signals to stop traffic (like a Lollypop Lady!); even some Dutch participants (who are known for learning to cycle as soon as they can walk!) and super confident in traffic were pleasantly surprised that they learnt some new skills for navigating complex junctions or learnt new routes!

Feedback has been excellent with attendees recommending to colleagues and bringing friends to future sessions  - a grateful trainee even wrote an article in SPARK published in Nov (*see below)

If you would like to attend one of our free sessions please contact Sessions generally run on Wednesday afternoons - see Cycle Skills Flyer -  alternative times can be arranged on request.


Our other cycle events this year have also proved very popular with well over 500 people attending events such as Cycle to work day; On your Bike event; Dr Bike sessions; Light up cyclists events; or Reading Bicycle Kitchen’s DIY maintenance sessions.

The increase in availability of UniCycle bikes has been a great bonus for new or visiting students & staff - with recycled / refurbished bikes being available to hire from as little as £10/term.  Over 60 UniCycle bikes were taken out on hire during the first term and more are available now – for more information contact

Anyone taking out a hire bike gets a free lock & set of lights / bike check & fit together with basic training session to match experience.

Alongside all the training we held two major bike sales in the autumn term with around 50 bikes selling like hotcakes – these provide a valuable source of charitable funds as well as enabling recycling of new or abandoned bikes from on campus.

A further second hand bike sale is being held on 30th Jan 12-2pm in Palmer Building.


Cycling at the University is clearly on the up.

All cycling information can be found on the Cycling pages here.



 I have really learnt a lot about cycling under your guidance including all the necessary steps to be taken for safety and the ways to keep the bike safe. Now I am really confident to cycle at both day and night within the campus.”  First Year Undergrad

I greatly appreciate the University bicycle scheme, and am truly grateful of the support to both my daily commute on the bike, and the cycling culture in general.  Not only is the bike rental scheme affordable, the support and education given to new cyclists on the road (like me) has been enormous. The lessons on road rules and traffic have been useful and now I can commute on the road with confidence. The maintenance services provided has also been superb, and the advice given to us on keeping our bikes in good condition has been helpful.”    Masters Student

I was a complete beginner and had never been on a bike, even as a child. Within a few lessons, I was able to balance and start riding and it has been an absolute joy to achieve. It may take a little longer as an adult to fully trust yourself to be able to ride but this is exactly why it is even more rewarding. I am really grateful to the university for providing this opportunity absolutely free of charge and also for the hire scheme which means I have a bike to practice on for only £10 a term. The trainer is simply the best for doing what you do – thank you so much!   PGR Student

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