If you’re visiting Cambridge for business or pleasure, a cycle around the historic city can be a great way to see what it has to offer.
Cycling is one of the most popular forms of commuting in Cambridge, which means it’s no surprise that Cambridge is the UK’s cycling capital. When you arrive you will quickly notice the number of bicycles parked around the city, and just how many people are cycling on the roads.
There is a big influence in the city of Cambridge for people to cycle as it’s much quicker than many of the old road systems, and of course, it’s better for the environment. Recently, there has been a bigger push for more people to get on a bicycle in Cambridge, as the local council are considering a congestion charge to ease the traffic on the roads.
If you’re looking to adopt a bike on your next visit to Cambridge, there are a few things to consider before you begin your adventures.
As Cambridge is a city built for cycling, you will find that many of the roads have dedicated cycling lanes. In fact, Cambridge boosts of 80 miles worth of cycle lanes.
If you’re unsure about your route and whether it will be bike-friendly, CamCycle provides a number of maps on their website which you can download to find which areas are best for cycling.
Here in the UK, it is illegal to cycle on footways alongside roads unless specific signs details that the pathway is shared access for bikes and pedestrians.
Therefore, getting some knowledge about the roads you may need to travel on to get to your destination is well advised before you travel out, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Keep in mind that traffic lights are for cyclists too, which means you must stop when the red lights show.
The Dutch Roundabout
In July 2020 Cambridge opened its first Dutch roundabout providing cyclists with a dedicated lane which enables people to travel safely in the city.
The Dutch roundabout is unique in the way that it gives people walking and cycling official priority over drivers. The layout of the roundabout allows people driving and cycling to see each other coming, therefore reducing the risk of accidents.
Cambridgeshire Council has created a video of how the roundabout should be used by cyclists, so if you are unsure of how you will have to navigate the new layout, you can watch a video before you jump on your bike.
As with any city, Cambridge is a hive of busy activity with locals and tourists, which means the roads can become incredibly busy during peak hours.
With this in mind, it is always advised that you stay alert while cycling around Cambridge and ensure that you can hear and see clearly. For example, having headphones would be advised against.
Besides the more mindful you are of your riding experience, the more you will enjoy the beautiful scenes of Cambrdige around you.
Bike lights and a helmet are highly recommended if you are cycling around Cambridge.
If you have not brought your own bike for your visit, there are a number of bicycle shops in Cambridge where you can rent everything you need. From the bike, right down to all the accessories.
When travelling around Cambridge on your bicycle, you must make it clear to other road users where you are going. Indicate with your arms and hands when you intend to make a turn or to stop.
If you are unclear of the road signals required here in the UK for cycling, there are a number of simple videos online which will tutor you on the hand gestures road users will expect.
Your cycle speed is dependent on how you are comfortable riding a bike; however, it is best advised that you keep at a safe pace when you are on roads while maintaining a slightly slower pace when you are in heavy pedestrian areas.
Parking Your Bicycle
As Cambridge is a city built for cycling you will be pleased to know that parking your bike around the city centre is quite easy.
Cambridge’s main train station hosts a CyclePoint bike park which can park up to 3,000 bicycles.
Dotted around the city, you will also find dedicated bicycle parking facilities which mean you can literally bike right into the city centre to enjoy a day out.
As with any bicycle parking just remember to ensure your bike is not causing an obstruction, and that it is parked at a designated bike stand.
You will find many options to hire bikes near our serviced apartments in Cambridge, if you need any recommendations please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team.