Cycling - ScoutHelp

Where you can cycle in the countryside

  • Public roads, including unclassified roads
  • Bridleways
  • Byways open to all traffic, these are usually unsurfaced tracks.
  • Roads used as public paths
  • Towpaths
  • Designated cycle paths.
  • The National Cycle Network.
  • Cycle tracks designated under the Cycle Tracks Act 1984.

Where you cannot go

  • On footpaths, unless a landowner has given permission.
  • On pavements, unless it is a joint pedestrian/cyclist path; This will be well sign posted and may require the cyclist to give way to pedestrians or keep in a separate lane.
  • On disused railway lines
  • Across open land unless special permission has been granted.

Making sure you cycle responsibly

  • Give way to pedestrians, wheelchair users and horse-riders, leaving them plenty of room.
  • When passing horses take extra care, they are spooked easily so never pass without calling out a warning.
  • Keep to your side of any dividing line and be prepared to slow down or stop if necessary.
  • Don’t expect to cycle at high speeds. Reduce the speed when you don’t know what’s ahead.
  • Match your speed to the surface and your skills.
  • Remember how quiet bikes can be and how fast they spin along. Don’t surprise people – slow down and make they know you are coming.
  • Fit and use lights in poor visibility.
  • Avoid skidding on trails.
  • Go through puddles, not around them.
  • Stay off soft areas.

Special precautions when riding off-road

  • Check local weather reports before heading for the hills
  • Invest in a first aid kit and know how to use it.
  • Carry emergency rations.
  • Take a map and a compass and know how to use them.
  • Carry essential tools such as a pump and a spare inner tube.
  • Tell somebody where you are going and report any changes of plan by telephone.
  • Plan the route.
  • Avoid going solo if possible. Three is the minimum safe number. In an accident, one can go for help, the other stays with the injured.
  • Wear the right clothes. Take spare clothing and don’t forget your helmet.
  • If you are caught in low-visibility