The Department is committed to a policy of encouraging cycle use in the Islands by improving and extending the associated infrastructure and facilities. This page provides access to information.
ABC Quick Checks
Safe cycling begins with a safe and well-maintained bicycle. The following checks will take a minute or two and ensure that your bike is in safe working order.
A = Air
Make sure your tyres are inflated to the proper pressure before you ride, as tyres lose a little air each day on their own. Very often you cannot feel a tyre that has lost a little pressure. However, if you can squeeze the tyre then the air pressure is probably too low.
Remember to check your air pressure every couple of weeks!
B = Brakes
A quick way to check your brakes is to squeeze them to make sure the pads are not worn and that they will stop the wheel from moving without applying to much pressure. Have your brakes adjusted or replace the brake pads as soon as possible if either pad doesn't touch the rim.
C = Chain
Make sure your chain is not dried out or rusty, as this can lead to sudden problems when riding. If the chain is dry, lubricate it by using a greaseless chain lubricant. Also check that it is not so worn or stretched that it hangs down. If it is worn, replace it. To check for stretching, take a ruler and check to see that the distances between the centres of link pins is exactly 12 inches. If the distance is more, the chain is stretched and should be replaced. If you find stiff links in your chain, you may be able to free them by carefully and slightly bending the chain sideways back and forth until the stiff link loosens up.
Quick = Quick ReleasesToday, the majority of bikes are fitted with quick release wheels and it is therefore important that you check your wheel quick release skewers to make sure they are closed and tight. Improperly fastened quick release skewers can allow your wheels to shift and rub against the frame of your bike, or even fall off!
Another important thing to remember is to wear your helmet!
Wearing your helmet
Your helmet is not technically part of your bike but should be thought of as a seatbelt: it must be fastened properly before you start your trip. Make sure you fit and adjust your helmet correctly so that it fits snugly and the straps and slides are properly adjusted.
Riding in Traffic
Positioning and Awareness:
When riding in Guernsey:
• it is compulsory to ride on the left side of the road
• it is best to ride at least 3 feet from the edge of the pavement/road
• it is best to ride at least 4 feet from a parked car
• it is recommended that you follow the 'Rule of Thirds'
Whether you communicate by using hand signals, your voice, a horn or bell, your position on the street, or even polite hand gestures, making yourself and your intentions known is always a good idea in order to reduce collisions.
The Rule of Thirds:
Use your position on the street to show others where you are going. By being in the correct position on the street, you make yourself more visible to others and communicate what you are doing and where you are going. When you approach an intersection, there are three choices: a right turn, a straight path of travel, or a left turn.
Riding at Night:
Visibility should be your first concern at night, and it is stated under section 46 of the Highway Code that:
'At night you MUST have front and rear lights lit. Your cycle MUST also be fitted with a red reflector (and amber pedal reflectors). Flashing lights and other reflectors may help you to be seen but MUST NOT be used alone.'
Wearing dark colours will make you blend into the darkness and make it much harder for motorists and pedestrians to see you. Therefore wearing reflective and light coloured clothing is also very useful in making yourself visible to others at night.
Position on the street is an essential way in which you can help make yourself visible at night. At night you should still ride where drivers expect you to ride (see above positioning section).
Riding in Rain and Fog:
The first and most important rule for a wet road is to SLOW DOWN!
Secondly, visibility is reduced in both rain and fog, so lights and reflectors should be used.
It is also a good idea to start braking earlier, and use brakes more gradually than you would on dry ground. Riding around puddles will help to avoid potholes, cracks or other things that lie hidden in water.
At a junction which is controlled by 'Filter in Turn' signs, 'Filter' painted on the road surface and by yellow hatching on the road surface, all directions have equal priority, so give way IN TURN to vehicles which also intend to enter the junction. As these are also usually box junctions, you MUST NOT enter the box unless your exit is clear.
Code of Conduct
- Only ride where you know it is legal.
- Never ride fast downhill if you cannot see the road ahead.
- Be prepared to meet traffic in the lanes.
- Give way to walkers and horse riders.
- Don't bunch and obstruct narrow lanes.
- Be pleasant to other countryside users.
- Don't ride on footpaths.
- Take care when crossing main roads.
- Yellow lines mean stop.
- Be safe and be seen.
- The use of a cycle helmet is highly recommended.
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Cycle Sizing and Fit
Your bike should fit your body. Seat height and reach to the handlebars are essential, and more subtle sizing issues help to make your cycle a close extension of your body. Correct cycle fit allows you to completely control your bike.
Handlebar reach is more an issue of comfort, use and even medical history, such as back injury. An upright position allows the rider to see better in traffic, and be seen well by drivers and pedestrians. Being visible to others and seeing are both key to avoiding common collisions.
A cycle lane runs along the eastern sea front from Bulwer Avenue to the large Weighbridge roundabout in Town. For the majority of its length, a solid white line runs along the centre of the pavement to divide the pedestrian lane from the cycle lane, and each lane has a road marking or sign or either a pedestrian or bicycle for identification. However, in some narrow parts, there is no dividing line and the pavement is a shared cycle/pedestrian area; these are signed accordingly.
The coastal paths continue to be maintained and extended where possible by Environment Guernsey Limited in order to provide improved access to the Island's coastline for cyclists, pushchairs and wheelchair users.
Please note that cycling is not permitted on the islands nature trails or the cliff paths between La Vallette Bathing Pools and Pleinmont Point.
The coastal paths suitable for cyclists run along the west coast of the Island and are shown in green on the Digimap link. These paths are not exclusively for cycling so all cyclists should remain aware of other members of the public who may also be using the paths.
Ruettes Tranquilles are designated lanes across the Island with a recommended speed limit of 15 mph. They are open to all traffic but give priority to walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. Together they form a growing network across the following parishes of: Vale, Castel, Forest, St Andrews, St Martins, St Sampsons, St Saviours. Each entry point to a Ruette Tranquille is signposted.
Further information and other suggested reading can be accessed from the Visitor Information Centre and online from www.visitguernsey.com
Guernsey is best explored by bicycle to enjoy its picturesque views and quaint country lanes. The great temptation for the two-wheeled explorer is to progress mostly by way of the flat western and northern coasts and so miss the hidden aspects to be discovered off the beaten track.
Visit Guernsey has identified a number of tourist cycle routes around the island. The routes are all on tarmac roads that traverse the varied contours of the Island and have been designed to take in many of the Island's tourist attractions, as well as refreshment stops. No footpaths or 'green lanes' are included and these should be avoided, as should main roads at peak commuter times. All but one of the routes are circular and based on a car park starting point, though they could be joined anywhere along the route as riders choose their own start and finish point.
In total there are 11 cycle routes described. The first 6 are more gentle and rolling routes, with 5 additional routes for a more challenging ride. The routes are discreetly signposted, mostly using existing street furniture. In some places signs will be on walls or timber posts.
Further information can be accessed from the Visitor Information Centre and online from www.visitguernsey.com
Location of Cycle Stands
The following lists indicate cycle stand provision by location, and include the number of stands and the approximate capacity at each site. Additional sites for cycle stands at other facilities will be updated on this list as they are identified.
Cycle stands outside Town area
Keeping your Cycle Safe
In order to reduce cycle theft, it is important that you lock your cycle whenever and wherever you leave it, even if it is only for a few seconds. If possible it is best to combine two of the following:
U-locks - These come in a very small size, useful for locking just a frame or wheel to a rack or pole.
Cables - This can be good alternative to a chain, since they can be just as strong or stronger and are lighter and more easily carried. Again, you will also need a lock.
How to Lock Your Bike:
Useful Contact Information
Guernsey Police Tel: +44 (0) 1481 725111
Environment Department Tel: +44 (0) 1481 717200