Cycling around PortsmouthLast updated: 03 April 2014 10:36 UK
Portsmouth is a great city to cycle in - flat, compact and with some lovely scenic rides along the coast. It is possible to cycle from Southsea in the south of the city to Paulsgrove in the north in just 45 minutes at a comfortable pace.
Below you will find details of cycle routes, free bike repairs, council-run cycle skills training and low-cost cycling safety products for sale.
For more information about cycling in Portsmouth, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 023 9283 4092.
Leisure bike ride routes are available on the Visit Portsmouth and My Journey websites. Volunteers at Portsmouth Cycle Forum frequently organise guided, fun, themed cycle rides around the city suitable for families, and most are free. Alternatively, to plan your own cycle route, download an Active Travel map below.
Over the next two years, Portsmouth City Council is improving city infrastructure – including new dedicated cycle routes – so as many people as possible are inspired to enjoy the benefits of cycling, and making it easier for those who already cycle in the city.
This includes council involvement in the Shipwright's Way, a new long-distance route from Alice Holt Forest near Farnham to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - around 50 miles in all - which will form part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.
Free cycle maintenance
It's important to keep your bike in good working order. Make sure that:
- it is the correct size for comfort and safety
- both tyres are inflated properly and have good tread
- the chain is oiled and properly adjusted
- all brakes work and the brake pads aren't worn
- reflectors and lights are fitted and working. All bikes must have a rear reflector and pedal reflectors fitted by law, and working front and rear lights during the hours of darkness, so remember to keep them clean!
To help keep your bike on the road, Portsmouth City Council have organised weekly free Bike Doctor clinics in Guildhall Square, offering check-ups and basic repairs to your cycle.
Every Thursday between 11am and 2pm, the team of experienced bike mechanics will check everything on your bike from wheels to gears, and brakes to brake lights. Any minor adjustments or basic repairs can be made there and then. If they can't fix it immediately, they will let you know exactly what needs doing and a rough cost. No need to book, just come along.
Email email@example.com or call 023 9284 1948 if you would like the Bike Doctor to visit your community group, workplace or event.
Cycle training for kids
Bikeability is the 21st century version of cycling proficiency, giving the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today's roads. There is always more to learn and to enjoy on a bike, so children are encouraged to achieve all three Bikeability levels.
Portsmouth City Council offers free Bikeability training up to level 2 for every year six child in the city (and some year five) this academic year, if they attend Portsmouth schools that encourage cycling as a means of transport to and from school.
An educational training DVD and fun cycling obstacle course for the playground, called Pedal Power, for children under ten, are available for schools to borrow by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cycle skills for adults
If you haven't ridden a bike for a while, and feel you need a confidence boost or just some extra practice, the council runs adult cycle training in small groups. Email email@example.com or phone 023 9268 8262 for more details.
If you ride a bike, give yourself a pat on the back for being green, healthy and reducing traffic congestion.
But please make sure you stay off the pavement, obey traffic rules and use shared paths considerately. Not all cyclists realise how much they can frighten people walking on the path, especially older people. All of us – drivers and pedestrians too – need to be more polite to one another in a busy city. For tips on confident cycling and riding in traffic, check out the Department for Transport's Think Cyclist guide.
Below you can download a selection from our range of fliers, postcards and badges developed to remind cyclists in the city to ride politely and safely. The leaflets and postcards themes include: staying safe, using roundabouts, large vehicles, locking your bike, sharing space, bike lights, stopping at crossings, commuting to work, top cycling tips, claiming space on the road rather than the pavement, and keeping clear of parked cars.
Feel free to distribute them anywhere you feel is appropriate or useful. Additional copies are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be safe on Portsmouth streets
The council continues to work with the police to raise awareness of the importance of cyclists being visible, Getting the visibility message across is particularly important during the winter months. Portsmouth has a large student population, including many from overseas, and the fact that many cyclists do not drive means they do not realise how difficult it is to spot cyclists in the dark.
The council has various cycle products for sale (all at low or cost price) from the Civic Offices main reception. You are welcome to have a look at the products before you buy, so you can check that items - such as helmets - fit well. You can download the cycle products price list below.