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Cycling in Oxford

Cycling in Oxford is a very good idea (it’s often the fastest way of getting round the city and
research has shown that the more people cycle, the safer it becomes) but if you’re not used to
cycling in traffic there are some important things you need to know to keep yourself safe.
Before you cycle in Oxford


  • Get the right equipment - the absolute minimums are a mechanically safe bike that fits you, front and rear lights, rear reflector and a good quality lock. Most experienced Oxford cyclists also decide, after a few near misses, to wear a helmet (if you do decide to wear one make sure it is fitted correctly) and something high-visibility and reflective, particularly at night. 
  • Register your bike – theft of bicycles is very common in Oxford. A bicycle registration number will increase the chances of your bike being returned if stolen. Cycle registration packs are available in from the University Security Services (01865 272944). 
  • Improve your urban cycling skills – see details of cycle training at 
  • Make sure you are mentally prepared: never cycle after drinking alcohol (the same rules and limits apply for people in charge of bikes and cars); read the Highway Code (the laws about how and where you can ride a bike are more like the laws for cars than people think: see

Whilst on your bike

  • When cycling, ride in a good visible position - at least a car door distance from parked cars, not weaving into gaps (you disappear). Get good eye contact with other road users to be sure that they have seen you. At junctions, either make sure you can get to the front of the traffic and be visible, or remain in your place in the queue in the centre of the lane. Get into the habit of only overtaking on the right hand side. One of the most common causes of accidents is collision with left turning vehicles. 

If things go wrong

If you are involved in an accident, make sure that you get professional help either at the John 
Radcliffe Hospital (01865 741166) or from the Hall doctor.

To report a stolen bike contact the local Police station (0845 8 505 505) and also, if your bike is 
registered, the University Security Services (01865 272944).

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