The last few weeks have been a great opportunity for riding your bike locally, either on your own, or with members of your household.
If you are not very confident on a bike or you're a little out of practice, try and find somewhere quiet, preferably traffic free, to get started. First of all get comfortable on the bike and then start practicing looking over both shoulders before setting off and when riding. This is essential so you can see what's going on around you. Also, practise riding single-handed so you can make hand signals and communicate effectively with other road users.
Before you start cycling in traffic, familiarise yourself with The Highway Code and make sure you are confident at controlling the bike. Also remember to ensure that you can be seen and always be alert when you're out on the roads.
Don't forget to use your bell when cycling on shared use paths to let pedestrians know that you're there.
Cycling during the lockdown
Whether you're a confident cyclist, or new to two wheels, don't forget to give pedestrians and other cyclists plenty of space, to allow for social distancing. Pass other riders and pedestrians as wide as is safely possible and avoid riding in the slipstream of someone who is not from your household (advice on distance varies see the road.cc website and urbanphysics.net).
For more advice, take a look at the Bikeability Trust website on cycling during the lockdown.
Before setting off, always check that your bike is safe and ready to ride - one of the best ways of doing this is with an 'M check'. The Sustrans M check video shows you how to do this.
As well as your bike, it's good to check that you're ready to go as well. Make sure that you are wearing suitable, brightly coloured clothing and that your helmet is properly fitting and undamaged. Don't forget to carry water, food and extra layers with you if required. Make sure that anything you carry on the bike is secure - bike panniers are ideal.
Our Hereford mini map shows both traffic free paths (blue) and suggested quiet routes (orange) in the city.
We also have cycle routes and mini maps for Leominster and Ledbury.
Beryl bikes can be ridden for as little at 5p a minute and NHS staff, police force workers, schools staff and Herefordshire Council key workers can now all use the scheme for free.
Bike donations and Cycle to Work scheme
Both St Michael's Hospice in Hereford and EnvironAbility in Ross-in-Wye sell second-hand, refurbished bikes and also gratefully accept donations of unwanted bikes.
If your employer offers a Cycle to Work scheme, you can make savings on a new bike or an electric bike for commuting, and pay monthly instalments from your salary. More information about the Cycle to Work scheme on the Sustrans website.