Cycling is undoubtedly an integral part of many people’s day to day lives, be it used for travel, exercise, leisure, or all of the above. In fact, looking past Cambridge’s reputation for its great universities, it could very easily be argued that it is also renowned for its incredible integration of the cyclist lifestyle. However, while the streets may be cyclist accessible, they can be varyingly troubling if you don’t stay aware and prepare.

Now, before you start cycling, most would agree that it isn’t the best of ideas to leave home unequipped for the day ahead. Namely, it is most certainly in your best interest to protect you and your mode of transport with some practically priceless accessories in the form of a bike helmet and lock.

Firstly, so that you make it home after a day of work or school, it is invaluable that you keep your bike safe whilst you are away. Significantly, the importance of a bike lock is unanimous across the nation and especially Cambridge yet still overlooked as you can’t cycle your bike if you no longer have one. Additionally, following a study by the Yorkshire Times this year, Cambridge was notably picked out for having the most bike thefts in the entirety of the UK of, relative to its population, a not to be overlooked 99 thefts per 100,000 people.

Consequently, it is more than advised that, whenever you go out, you bring the utmost of security for your bike, most notably, combining a chain and D lock to secure your bike’s wheels and frame, especially if your wheels are quick-release.

Secondly, whilst arguably being the more overlooked of the two, helmets are, without a shadow of a doubt, a very important part of a cyclist’s safety as, around 9 times out of 10, they’ll keep you A-OK in the face of an accident. Despite this, most people in Cambridge, though it is slightly unnerving to say, will ignore the safety of a bike helmet in favour of their own convenience or ease. Notably, across the United Kingdom, studies state only approximately 10-35% of cyclists actually wear their helmets, other cases stating that the wearing of them, more often than not, can protect against otherwise fatal accidents.

As a result, given the abundance of studies like these, it is apparent there is a pressing issue surrounding the lack of people wearing helmets and so it is important to remember that, above all, you should most definitely keep it on whilst cycling. 

However, all things considered, other studies also state that accidents are far more likely to happen when people wear their helmets, the idea of having the extra safety causing people to worry less about their cycling. Therefore, if you are amidst the many who don’t wear helmets when cycling, the bare minimum advice to take from this article is simple: Pay attention!