Ilkley Travel Hub | Cycling tips

Cycling tips

Tips for safe cycling

Whatever your level of fitness, cycling will help you get out and improve your fitness.


  • Make sure you are aware of who else is around you, and how far away they are.
  • Use cycle lanes where it makes your journey safer and easier. However, you are not obliged to use them.
  • Cycle assertively and take up as much space on the road as you need to feel safe.
  • Use hand signals to show other road users what you plan to do, making eye contact where possible.
  • Wait in front of other vehicles at traffic lights by using the advanced stop line for cyclists. At junctions with no advanced stop line, position yourself in the centre of your chosen lane, to make yourself as visible as possible.
  • Obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.
  • You may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left. Proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see you.
  • Be aware of drivers behind you getting frustrated and pull over to allow them to overtake – but only if it’s safe to do so.
  • Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet that is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.
  • Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.


  • Use a mobile phone or earphones whilst cycling or cycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Get too close to parked cars in case of doors opening suddenly - allowing one metre should be OK.
  • Cycle in the gutter, especially if the road is narrow, as this could encourage dangerous overtaking.
  • Cycle on the pavement or the wrong way up one-way streets (unless marked for cyclists).
  • Assume other road users know this stuff - some may not have read the latest Highway Code!
  • Ride through red traffic lights – you could be fined £50.
  • Do not pass on the left of lorries - this is a notorious blindspot for them.