Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to the questions we often get asked here.

Contents

1.

Where can I get a second-hand bike?

Re-cycle, based at Heeley Development Trust, Heeley. Phone 0114 2500613. Website

Remar: Office 160 Matilda Street, Tlf. 44-114-2730443

Classified Ads in the Star, also Cycling Weekly (mainly sports cycles), the CTC magazine and Cycling Plus all have free adverts

Free-Ads Magazine

The Peak Park Cycle Hire centres sell off re-conditioned hire bikes at the end of the season.

Try Ebay?

Ask to place a wanted advert on our mailing list.

2.

I’ve got some unwanted bikes to get rid of. What can I do with them?

Re-cycle, based at Heeley Development Trust, Heeley. Phone 0114 2500613.

Remar: Office 160 Matilda Street, Tlf. 44-114-2730443

Classified Ads in the Star, also Cycling Weekly (mainly sports cycles), the CTC magazine and Cycling Plus all have free adverts

Free-Ads Magazine

Try Ebay?

Freecycle

3.

Where can I rent a bike in Sheffield?
a) Russell’s Bike Shed now has bike hire up and running:-
http://www.russellsbicycleshed.co.uk/cycle-hire/
b) Sheffieldbycycle is a pool bike scheme similar to the Santander Bikes in London, initiated by University of Sheffield but open to all.
c) Wortley Cottage Guest House, S35 7DB operates a cycle hire business. See http://www.wortleycottage.co.uk/pages/activities/cycle-hire.php
d) The Peak Park authority operates cycle hire in the Peak District – Fairholmes and Parsley Hey  – as does the Old Station at Hassop. Cycle hire is also available at Rother Valley Country Park and Clumber Park.

4.

I have had an accident on my bicycle and require legal advice.

Before you have an accident we recommend you read this.

Sheffield Cycle Routes cannot offer legal advice. However, this is our understanding of the legal situation

Firstly we are sorry to hear about any accident and offer our sympathies.

Make sure you get the other party’s insurance details, address, phone, & name. Get help from passers-by and collect driver, witness and police details

Take photos and check for CCTV

Keep a record of injuries and expenses.

You should report the accident to the police and insist they fill in a STATS 19 form.

If you are a member of  Cycling UK contact them for free legal aid.

Alternatively we recommend Howells solicitors. Many of their staff are cyclists and have an intimate knowledge of the problems cyclists face.

You can contact Peter Mahy or any of the staff there and they may be able to take your case on a no win no fee basis.

If you have an accident on the Supertram tracks we strongly recommend that you see a solicitor and consider taking legal action. The Supertram network is is regulated by the Office of the Rail Regulator’s Her Majesty’s Rail Inspectorate, so they should be informed of any serious accident – see http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1353.

Procedure for reporting an incident not involving injury (101)

As soon as possible after an incident

Note the registration, make, model, colour of the vehicle

Note a description of who was driving it.

Get the details of independent witnesses.

As soon as you can describe the incident and write it down.

When did it happen?

Where did it happen?

Who was involved?

What happened?

How were you affected or put at risk?

Call 101 and state you wish to make a formal complaint about driving that you thought was anti-social, or careless, or dangerous and has put you at significant risk.

It is essential to get an incident number

Do retain the record you made at the time.

The police will make an appt to interview you and take a statement, either at a police station or at your home.

Witnesses may make a statement but not in your presence or other witnesses.

The PO should contact you at a later date to tell what action has been taken.

5.

Where can I get insurance?

Although there is no legal obligation for cyclists to be insured, we recommend that all cyclists have 3rd party liability insurance. You can obtain this by joining CycleSheffield and then becoming an affiliated member of the CTC – for an individual this would cost a total of £21.00 Alternatively you can join CTC as a full member –  this costs £39. If you are a member of the University of Sheffield (Staff or Student) you can do this by joining the University Cycle Forum.

6.

Does anyone do weekday rides for retired people?

(i) Try Autumn Tints. They have rides on Wednesdays across Yorkshire. Their S.Yorks contact (& chairman) is Colin Brewin – 01302 728288.

(ii) The Sheffield U3A (University of the Third Age) is an organisation of individuals aged 50 or more and not in full time gainful employment and has a Cycling Group! They say:-
We have reached an age in life when many of us regard a good cycle ride as being  between 15 and 25 miles with frequent stops for a breather, to admire the view or simply have a chat. we also always never miss stopping for coffee and a sandwich lunch. The regular CTC rides are usually a little too long and even with the best will in the world, a little too quick for us. We are a friendly group of very mixed ability cyclists who meet every second week, usually on a Monday for a ride of between 15 and 25 miles.
We are always welcoming of new riders and if you would like to receive the group emails describing our forthcoming rides, please email either Yvonne, (Yvonne.bland@ymail.com ) or Dave (Dave@iansys.co.uk) . If you wish to ride regularly with us, you will need to join the Sheffield U3A, full details of what the U3 has to offer at http://sheffieldu3a.org.uk/
7.
Why do Sheffield Cycle Routes seem to stop and start all the time?

There are many reasons for this. One is that many cycle lanes and paths are paid for by “planning gain” – a developer puts money in the pot to help pay for a section of route that goes near his development, and the rest of the route has to wait until more money becomes available.

However, sometimes people misunderstand the nature of cycle routes in Sheffield.  Segregated off-road paths are not always essential. Where speeds are slow and traffic is light cyclists can normally be catered for on the road. Dedicated cycle routes are fine when they take you where you want to go by a reasonably short route, but we do not believe that cyclists should have to take circuitous routes just because they might “hold up the traffic”.

Off-road routes if poorly designed can be more dangerous than cycling on the road, and can lead to cyclists losing their road skills, and motorists failing to be bike-aware.

So when you are cycling in Sheffield and you leave a cycle lane, don’t assume you have left the “route”. All roads are potential cycle routes, although some are plainly more suitable for cycling than others. We believe in the Dutch principle that major roads should have segregated cycle routes (these tracks should run parallel to the road and not involve circuitous routes using back streets) less heavily roads should have cycle lanes and in quiet residential streets a 20mph default speed limit (or lower) should be in force.

Links: (under construction)

DfT Cycling Guidance for LA’s

CTC Briefing Note

9.

Why are Sheffield’s road surfaces so awful?

It’s a age-old question and will soon be redundant as the PFI programme that was set up by the Labour administration sorts out the problem.  You can report specific problems to Streets Ahead – 0114 2734567,  With better road surfaces cycling would certainly be a lot easier, although traffic speeds are likely to be higher too.

10.

Should cyclists be forced to register their cycles and have licence plates?

No. Cyclists are readily identifiable because you can see their faces and other physical characteristics. This is not the case for example with cars that have tinted windows. We want to encourage people to cycle, not put barriers in front of them.

11.

Isn’t Sheffield too hilly for cycling?

Only if you are overweight and/or smoke. Give up the coffin nails, start eating proper food (this includes vegetables) get a decent bike and possibly go to the gym or swimming pool now and again. You will soon find yourself zooming up and down the hills. If not, an electric bike is the solution for many people.

12. Does anyone run bike maintenance courses/workshops in Sheffield?

Cycle Boost do these.

13. 

How do I report illegal parking (on bike lanes and elsewhere?)

Report them to Parking Services  – 0114 2736255

14. Why do cars park on the Glossop Rd/Clarkehouse Rd bike lanes?

These are part time bike lanes. They only operate during the rush hours. This is because local businesses objected to them being made full-time when they were put in, and the council thought it was better to compromise and at least have them some of the time rather than not have them at all. However, vehicles do stop in them during operational hours and if you come across this please contact Parking Services  – 0114 2736255

15. 

I’ve come across a problem on the road or the cycle track. How do I get something done about it? 

There are four main routes that we know of

http://www.fixmystreet.com  (The app for iphone and android is very useful)

https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/roads/report.html

http://www.fillthathole.org.uk/ (for potholes)

Phone Streets Ahead : 0114 2734567 (Select option 1)

16

How do I book my bike on the train?   

This page explains the options, as far as we know

17. 

How long does it take to cycle to Sheffield from….?

Sheffield is about one hour’s drive from  some of the major conurbations in the north and midlands of England. For an averagely fit cyclist, this translates into 3-4 hours cycling from Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester, Derby and Nottingham but this would entail cycling on busy main roads at times. For cyclists with more time, there are quieter routes from most of these places, mostly on the National Cycle Network, but these can take substantially longer.

18.  

How can I best warn people of my approach on a bike? 

This depends on the circumstances. If you are on an off-road path and there is a person in front of you, but there is plenty of room to pass, a polite “excuse me” or a ring on your bell, if you have one, well in advance of passing, should suffice. If you leave it too late to warn people there is a risk that you will startle them and they will jump into your path. If they have a dog, make sure the lead is well clear of your line of approach, bearing in mind that it may be on a retractable long lead. Bear in mind that the person may have an audio device on and may not hear  you unless you are fairly loud – look for the tell-tale trailing wires.

If you are coming up on a group of people and they are talking together, your polite “excuse me” may not suffice. Here, a bell is better. If you do have to raise your voice, try not to do it in a way that appears aggressive.

If you encounter a horse-rider, it’s best to give a loud audible warning well in advance of your approach “Bike coming”, and a ting on the bell won’t hurt. This is much for the benefit of the horse as the rider – the horse will associate a voice with a person, and won’t get frightened by the bike. Keep talking as you go by and all will be well so long as the horse is properly trained.

Dealing with road traffic is a different issue. If a driver is in a car with the windows up and the radio on, they won’t hear your bell or your normal speaking voice, but they probably will if you shout. They will however be checking their mirrors regularly if they are driving properly, so make sure you are in view. Bright lights even in daytime can help to make you visible.  Devices such as the Zounds Air Horn, available in good bike shops, will certainly get their attention, but use in moderation and never to warn pedestrians of your approach on an off-road path. If it looks as though a pedestrian is just about to step off the pavement and into your path, a blast on the horn or a sharp “look out” is justified to prevent injuries.

19. 

My muscles are very stiff after cycling. What can I do about it? 

Check the set up of your bike. Your legs should be straight when pedalling and your head should be aligned with your back so you are not putting undue strain on your neck muscles. With a few small adjustments you could find that your are a lot more comfortable when cycling and your muscle’s don’t ache so much. (If you do a long ride without warming up for it they will ache!)

Many cyclists find that yoga helps to loosen up muscles. Some CycleSheffield members attend classes run by Monica Bejarano. www.zagyoga.com Other Yoga classes are available.

If your question hasn’t been answered please use the comments section to get in touch.