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Smarter Travel
Cycling - Getting Started

Getting started you don’t need anything expensive. So if you have a bike that’s been gathering dust for a couple of years, it could be up and running after an inexpensive service.

If you are fortunate, you might have a bike hire station near you. The Glasgow hire scheme is provided by the company "Nextbike". The advantage of the scheme is you don't have to store or service a bike, it's all done for you! The only cost outlay is for membership and for journeys over 30 minutes. Find out more here: Nextbike

If you decide you want to buy, as well as new or second hand you can also check community enterprise groups like Bike for Good who have some good deals. Information on bike types and what you need is the equipment section.

Learning to cycle

A number of organisations, including Glasgow City Council, provide cycle training to adults and children. These include Bikeability Training and on road training for adults wishing to improve their on road skills

Further information is available on the Go Safe Glasgow website.

There are also a number of local cycle focused charities and community groups that provide cycle training. Details of these organisations and their contacts are on the GCC cycling pages.

Safety Equipment

You are not legally obliged to wear a cycling helmet, however, the wearing of a good quality, well fitting and properly adjusted helmet when cycling is recommended.

Not all accidents involve other road users. Adverse weather, debris or oil on the road can cause you to lose control. In this situation a cycle helmet can make the difference between a few scratches and serious injury. We also recommend you wear a pair of comfortable cycling gloves. These can help reduce vibration transferred to the hands and arm and will protect your palms should you come off your bike.


Legally, riding a bike does not require you to be insured. However, there is the potential that an incident leading to damage of property or injury to another road user (possibly another cyclist) could arise. For this reason, we recommend that all cyclists have at least third party insurance, particularly those who ride daily as part of their commute. This need not be expensive. Membership of Cycling UK provides this as default and includes legal cover too. Information is available here

Highway Code

Traffic lights apply to cyclists as well. Amber means Stop unless it is unsafe to do so, Red means STOP!

Don't cycle on the pavement unless it's a designated shared surface for pedestrians and cyclists or a core path.

Read and understand your responsibilities.

MUST means it’s the law, SHOULD is advisory