The new school year is fast approaching, but there’s still time to make the most of summer!
Although British weather can be very unpredictable, the remaining weeks of the summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to get out on two wheels before heading back to school in September.
In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of summer cycling, some of the best UK cycling and scooter routes, and safety tips so you can get the most out of your final days of summer on two wheels.
The benefits of summer cycling
Cycling during the school summer holidays brings a range of benefits, from experiencing the great outdoors to keeping active and exploring new places.
Although playing video games and watching TV can be fun, there’s no denying that exploring the world while whizzing by on a bike or scooter is a great way to get an adrenaline rush! Outdoor activities can also significantly benefit mental health, getting out in the fresh air and keeping active.
Discover new experiences
The prospect of going back to school after a six-week break can be daunting. However, the summer holidays are a great opportunity to build confidence by discovering new experiences. Riding a bike or scooter provides a sense of freedom and independence, creating the opportunity to explore new areas and learn new skills, helping you better prepare for the new school year.
Valuable practice time
If it’s been some time since you last hopped on your bike or scooter, summer cycling and scooting can be the perfect time to get out and practice. Perfecting the art of balancing and steering while being aware of potential hazards will stand you in good stead for potentially cycling to school in September.
The best summer cycling routes
Local parks and nearby cycle paths are great places to start if you’re still getting to grips with cycling or feel apprehensive about riding your bike or scooter further afield. For those who feel confident to venture out, there are many fantastic cycling locations across the UK to enjoy on your own or with friends. Here are just a few of our favourites:
The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
The circular cycle trail in the Forest of Dean can be accessed from a range of starting points and is suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. The route is clearly waymarked and there are many picnic sites along the way, perfect for stopping off, taking a break with friends and savouring the forest’s natural beauty.
Manifold Track, Staffordshire
The Manifold Track is a popular route for both walkers and cyclists, following the old Leek and Manifold Light Railway. A mostly flat terrain, the Manifold Track is a perfect cycling route if you’re looking for a gentle, pleasant ride. With little surprises along the route such as Thor’s Cave, this adventurous cycle route has plenty to keep you entertained.
Liverpool Loop Line, Merseyside
The Liverpool Loop Line is an excellent cycling route for those looking to build confidence on their bike or scooter, as it’s mostly flat and free from traffic. Although the route is close to Liverpool city centre, the greenery provides a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Downs Link, West Sussex
While the Downs Link spans 36 miles, there are smaller sections of the route that are excellent for summer cycling adventures. We recommend avoiding the first part of the trail if you’re not a confident cyclist as there are some steep sections. Instead, you can join at Guildford where the terrain is relatively flat, making for a much more easy-going biking adventure.
Goosey Foot Tarn trail, Cumbria
At only 4km long, the Goosey Foot Tarn trail is ideal for those looking for a simple cycling trail. The beginning of the route has a mild ascent but once this has been conquered, the route is downhill from then on.
Further cycling routes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can also be found on our Discovery Hub.
Cycling safety tips for teenagers
Safety is a primary concern for parents when allowing teens to hop on their bike or scooter, particularly if cycling alone to school. Before heading out on any summer biking adventures, it’s essential to be aware of the rules for cyclists and how to stay safe when riding on cycle routes or on the road.
You can find full details of UK cycling rules and regulations within the Highway Code rules for cyclists to help stay safe while biking to school in September.
Adhere to the best cycling practices
Best cycling practices include wearing a bike helmet, obeying traffic signs and assessing your speed. Adhering to these rules when cycling over the summer will ensure you are well prepared if you do choose to ride a bike to school during the new term, particularly if cycling alone.
Learn the rules of the road
Learning the rules of the road will help you become more aware of potential risks and develop overall safety awareness. Basic road safety rules include looking behind and using arm signals before turning, and paying attention to traffic lights and road signs.
Wearing light coloured and reflective clothing will help increase your visibility while out cycling, which is especially important if cycling during the winter months after school. Simple fluorescent accessories such as a high vis arm bands can make all the difference, helping you be seen more clearly on your bike or scooter.
Did you know that in the UK around 376,000 bikes are stolen each year? When you reach the stage where you’re confident enough to cycle to school, it’s essential that your bike remains secure when left unattended. Investing in a high quality bike lock provides additional security and reduces the likelihood of bicycle theft, giving you peace of mind when leaving your bike at school.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out on two wheels and experience all that the great British summer has to offer!
Whatever your cycling needs are this summer and beyond, it’s essential to be fully equipped. You want cycling expertise. You want Halfords.