Portsmouth is a great city for cycling as it is flat, compact and with some lovely scenic rides along the coast.
On this page, you will find information about:
- ‘Be Bright, Be Seen’ initiative
- Bike Doctor clinics
- Cycling events
- Cycling in winter
- Cycling training for kids
- Quieter routes
- Suggest a location for bike parking
- Wheels for All
- Cycling and the Highway Code
- Downloadable documents
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 email@example.com 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.
Bike Doctor clinics
To help reduce the spread of coronavirus, the usual Bike Doctor clinics are currently suspended until further notice. We are offering free bike checks and basic repairs to key workers only.
If you are a key worker and rely on your bike to get around, you can have it checked by an experienced bike mechanic for free. Basic repairs will also be provided.
When: Every Tuesday from 14 April, until further notice
Time: 10am – 4pm
Where: Community Cycle Hub, Winston Churchill Avenue, PO1 2GF (opposite the Police Station).
No need to book, but residents will need to bring ID to show that they employed as a key or essential worker. Customers will be guided to the back of the shop to wait so social distancing rules can be followed.
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.
Regular Bike Doctor clinics are suspended until further notice
At 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you leave your bike with the Bike Doctor please collect it by 4pm. Bikes that 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.
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 www.letsride.co.uk.
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, visit the Portsmouth Cycle Streets website or download the Active Travel map.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 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.
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 includes legal guidance to help you stay safe and remain within the law.