Cycling in Cambridge

The rules of cycling in Cambridge

1. Lock your bike. Lock your front wheel. Make sure your bike is locked to something. Do not contemplate not locking your bike, or it will get stolen. 100%. Being serious, last weekend 6 of my friends had their bikes stolen from outside their accommodation, and its such a pain (and expense) if it does happen. Ironically, in one case, the thieves took the bike, leaving the lock, despite the fact that the lock cost three times more!

2. Beware cycling on King’s Parade, especially in summer, unless your plan is to play Crossy Road for real; except the cars are tourists wielding excessively large cameras and selfie sticks, and are fond of obliviously stepping backwards into the road.

3. Beware bus drivers, another fairly serious one, because they hate you. They’ve got really used to driving unacceptably close to bikes, and although I can appreciate the skill and experience they have, it can be incredibly unnerving, especially if you’re not the most confident cyclist. Never cycle up the left side of a bus!

4. Don’t lock your bike to someone else’s outside lectures, even if you think you know who it belongs to, as funnily enough, its immensely frustrating when you come out to find your bike incapacitated, and your hopes of making caff are scuppered.

5. I would tell you to wear a helmet, because you really really should, but unfortunately most people don’t.

6. Pavement is hard. Really really hard – I learnt that the hard way in first year.

7. Wear gloves – steering and braking become rather difficult when you’ve lost sensation and the ability to move your fingers.

8. Obey traffic rules – this includes red lights and pedestrian crossings!!!

Obviously, the most important thing is to be safe and feel confident. Depending on the location of your lectures and supervisions, cycling may not be a necessity, and I know many people who exclusively walk to get around. I’ve quickly learnt that when you’re in a car you hate people on bikes, when you’re a pedestrian you hate people on bikes and in cars, and when you’re on a bike you hate everyone else (including other cyclists). Be safe!

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