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Bike tips from our Estates Team

31 May 2024
Head of Estates, Colin Bott and his team, share their essential bicycle tips, to keep your ride in top shape and to help make sure it is secure:

Creating a welcoming campus experience for all is a top priority, and the Estates Team is here to help ensure you get the most out of your bicycle.

They can help you protect your bike on campus with advice on the best locking practices, providing secure bike storage, and free bike security marking throughout the year. 

Head of Estates, Colin Bott and his team, share their essential bicycle tips below, to keep your ride in top shape and to help make sure it is secure: 

Regularly Pump Up Your Tyres 

Keep your tyres inflated to the recommended pressure (usually marked on the side of the tyre). This improves efficiency, prevents you getting a flat tyre, and ensures a smoother ride. Don’t forget to check your tyre pressure at least once a week.  

Get Your Bike Marked for added Security 

If you’re looking for extra piece of mind, you can register your bike with a local or national bike registry. This can help your bike be identified and returned to you if it’s stolen. It may be worth considering getting a UV security mark and keeping a record of your bike’s serial number. The Estates Team at College also offer free bike security marking throughout the year. Simply ask them on-site for more details. 

Use two locks 

For added security, you can secure your bike with two locks. This could be a sturdy U-lock to secure the frame and a cable lock to secure the wheels.  

Regularly Clean Your Bike 

You need to clean your bike regularly to remove dirt and grime which will affect the quality of movement. It’s best to focus on the chain, gears, and brakes. Cleaning will prevent rust and ensures all parts work efficiently. There are a range of bike-specific cleaners that you can buy at shops such as Halfords. 

Check Your Brakes 

It is a good idea to inspect your brakes before each ride, as well as ensuring that the brake pads aren’t worn, and the cables are tight. You can also adjust the brakes, if needed, to ensure they stop your bike effectively. 

Inspect Your Bike Regularly 

It is also good practice to perform a quick pre-ride inspection before you cycle. Check for loose bolts, make sure the wheels are properly attached, and ensure the handlebars and seat are secure. As well as this, you should regularly inspect your bike for any signs of wear and tear.  

Wear a Helmet 

Always wear a helmet to protect your head in case of a fall or collision. It is essential that this fits properly and is securely fastened. 

Use Lights and Reflectors 

If you ride at dusk, dawn or night, whether that be going to College or just around Ashford, you need to equip your bike with front and rear lights. This lets other road users know that you are there for maximum visibility and ensures you are following the law. The most basic requirement of the law is to fit a white front light and a red rear light which must be clean and working properly, The use of lighting and reflectors on pedal cycles is regulated under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations Act 1989. 

Plan Your Route 

If you’re travelling to or from College every day, you should plan your route. There are many bike-friendly routes across Ashford that offer bike lanes or less traffic. Knowing your route in advance can make your ride smoother and safer so use a map or an app to plan a safe and enjoyable ride. 

The Estates team is committed to helping you keep your bicycle secure and in great condition. For more information or assistance, visit their office located on the ground floor where they will be happy to help.