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Portsmouth is a great city for cycling as it is flat, compact and with some lovely scenic rides along the coast.

Below you will also find details of our quieter routes, cycling events, Bike Doctor clinics and more. 

For more information about cycling in Portsmouth, including free guided rides for all abilities, check the Pedal Portsmouth Facebook page, or email enquiries to

Pedal Portsmouth Glow Ride

Glow Ride is back! Get ready for the brightest night of the year!

The event will take place on Saturday 26 October on Southsea seafront. Just like last year there will be an extended route and event village. 

Be Bright, Be Seen! Get your 'glow on' and help us light up the night. Dress yourself and your bike with lights, hi-vis and other glow-in-the-dark accessories to make this the brightest event yet.

The Glow Ride event village will offer food, drink, music and cycling-related activities and advice. Before the ride starts you can have your bike checked over by our Bike Doctor team and chat with some of our local bike suppliers.

Starting on Clarence Esplanade, cyclists will ride the 3km traffic-free, circular route along the Esplanade, across Southsea Common, to Clarence Parade and the Ladies' Mile. Cyclists and spectators can enjoy music along the route.

Glow Ride is open to cyclists of all ages and abilities and is fully accessible for adapted bikes and child trailers.

The council's safer travel team can help you with cycling advice, help you enjoy quieter routes around the city, provide information about self-guided cycle tours or social rides, as well as guidance about safe cycling.

Places are limited so to ensure you get to take part in this year's Glow Ride and claim your free glow bag we recommend you book your place online, ahead of the event.

Registration is now open. Visit our registration page.

For cycling-related updates including the latest information about Glow Ride please sign up to myportsmouth updates and select 'Pedal Portsmouth' under 'Travel and transport'

Please note that a photographer will photograph participants at this event. The images will be used on Portsmouth City Council's social media and other channels, online and in print, to promote this event and other road safety initiatives. If you would prefer not to have your photograph taken please tell us.

Quieter cycle routes

We now have ten colour-coded cycle routes to guide cyclists to different parts of the city using quieter roads which are more suited to less confident cyclists.  Coloured stickers on lamp posts mark out the routes and give instructions such as when you need to dismount, use a crossing and which direction to travel.

There are five routes between the north and south of the city and five routes between east and west, some of which connect so you can plan a journey to key destinations including the seafront, The Hard and Fratton Park.

The quieter routes map is available to download and print in the documents section at the foot of the page.

Guided cycle rides

There is an online cycling community called 'Ride Social' which is hosted by British Cycling.  People can register and join rides that are happening locally or set up their own rides.  

Find out about upcoming rides at

Leisure bike ride routes are also available on the  Visit Portsmouth and  My Journey websites. Volunteers at  Portsmouth Cycle Forum also organise guided cycle rides around the city.  Alternatively, to  plan your own cycle route, download an Active Travel map below.

Portsmouth City Council are currently improving city infrastructure so as many people as possible are inspired to enjoy the benefits of cycling, and to make 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.

Bike Doctor clinics

To help keep your bike on the road, we sometimes offer free Bike Doctor clinics providing check-ups and basic repairs to your cycle. Please allow enough time for your bike to be checked, and if required, repaired. Although the Bike Doctor clinics end at 4pm, the mechanics may stop accepting new jobs from 3pm if they are busy. If there isn't enough time to repair your bike you will need to return another day. 

Bike Doctor clinics are currently running as follows:

Every Wednesday from 10am - 4pm in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, by the fountain (excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day)

Every third Monday from 10am - 4pm in Cosham High Street:

  • Monday 21 October 2019
  • Monday 18 November 2019
  • Monday 16 December 2019

At the Bike Doctor clinics a 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.

  • 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.

For further information email

If you leave your bike with the Bike Doctor please collect it by 4pm. Bikes which have not been collected will be stored securely at Community Cycle Hub, Winston Churchill Avenue. Opening hours Mon to Fri 8.30am - 5pm and Sat 9am - 3pm. 023 9281 4967.

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.

Suggest a location for bike parking 

We install high quality bicycle parking stands where there is high demand. If there is a location that you believe requires bicycle parking, please email with the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your contact details (telephone or email)
  • Location of cycle parking (please provide a link or grid reference)
  • Reason for cycle parking

Not all locations are suitable, and any recommendations will be prioritised accordingly.

Wheels for All

Wheels for All provides cycling opportunities for children and adults with disabilities and differing needs.

Using specially adapted cycles, individuals and families can cycle together, learning new skills or rediscovering a previous pastime.

To find out when and where our next cycling session is, please contact or call 023 9272 8899.

To keep the Wheels for All programme running, we are looking for volunteers to help us run our cycling sessions. In return for donating a few hours of your time you will:

  • get a nationally recognised qualification
  • meet new people
  • be part of your community
  • improve your CV
  • take on  a new challenge
  • learn a new skill

If you would like to volunteer contact us as above to find out more.

Be Bright, Be Seen

The 'Be Bright, Be Seen' initiative focuses on the importance of being seen during the hours of darkness. The most common cause of injuries to cyclists in Portsmouth is due to drivers not seeing the cyclist. To help overcome this, our road safety and active travel team run a number of Be Bright operations.

Working with Hampshire Police, cyclists without lights are stopped and offered education and guidance by a road safety officer. They are given the opportunity to avoid a fine (£50) if they purchase and install lights within 28 days. Those without lights receive a temporary set of lights to get them home safely.

Watch this video produced by British Cycling giving tips for cyclists on how to make themselves visible on the roads. 

The council works hard to educate both cyclists and drivers on this issue and has various cycle products for sale at low or cost prices - the range of products and prices is detailed in the list available from the documents section below.

To order items, please email or phone 023 9283 4092 - you'll need to pay and collect at the cashiers in the Civic Offices main reception, which also enables you to check that products fit before you buy. 

Cycling in winter 

Cycling during the cold and icy winter months involves more preparation than in the summer. Follow our tips to ensure you continue to make cycling easy and enjoyable:

  • Use lights. Make sure you can see and be seen during dark morning and evenings (see Be Bright, Be Seen, above).
  • Consider your routes. Quieter routes may be preferable for riding in fair weather, but watch out for frozen patches in winter.
  • Dress appropriately. As the temperature drops, make a water and windproof jacket your priority as well as a suitable pair of gloves.
  • Service your bicycle. The winter months are harsh on bicycle components. If you have been on a particularly wet/muddy ride, give your bike a wash, wipe-down and apply some bike oil to the chain and gears.
  • Take your time. Braking distances may be further, and surfaces may be slippery. It is safer to travel more slowly in these conditions. 

Cycling and the Highway Code 

Like all road users, cyclists should be aware of their legal requirements. The Highway Code informs, advises and guides road users in the UK, including cyclists, and offers advice and useful information including road etiquette, correct use of bus and cycle lanes, awareness and more. Read the full  rules for cyclists, which include legal guidance to help you stay safe and remain within the law.

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