Cycling in the United Kingdom
The National Clarion Cycling Club, which has member sections across the country, was started in the 1890s and was instrumental in the promotion of the socialist movement as well as the growth in popularity of cycling.
At the governmental level, cycling is a responsibility of the Department for Transport. Cycling UK advocates in the areas of utility and recreational cyclists, as opposed to cycle sport which is governed by British Cycling.
Initiatives such as the Cycle to Work scheme are designed to encourage cycling as a mode of transport, particularly for its environmental benefits against automobile use.
Segregated Bicycle Paths
The National Cycle Network, created by the charity Sustrans, is the UK's major network of signed routes for cycling. It uses dedicated bike paths as well as roads with minimal traffic, and covers 14,000 miles (23,000 kilometres), passing within 1 mi (2 km) of half of all homes. Other cycling routes such as The National Byway, the Sea to Sea Cycle Route and local cycleways can be found across the country.
The 21st century has seen a dramatic increase in the performance of British cyclists at the top levels of international cycling. Great Britain dominated the medal tables in cycling at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics, while riders such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome have recorded multiple wins in professional road races such as the Tour de France.
Major professional road races include the Tour of Britain, the Tour de Yorkshire, The Women's Tour and the London–Surrey Classic. On the track, the Revolution series events are most prominent. London hosted the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
The Tour de France included stages in Britain in 1974, 1994, 2007 and 2014.
Velodromes and other permanent tracks
Leisure and mass-participation cycling events
Cyclists cannot use certain roads in the United Kingdom, most notably Motorways. Further, some roads can be marked off-limits to cyclists by the presence of either a No Cycling sign (a bicycle in a red circle), or a No Vehicles sign (an empty red circle). In the latter case, cycles may be pushed. Other than these restrictions, cyclists can use any public highway in the United Kingdom, such as A roads (including dual carriageways).
The use of dedicated cycle facilities is not compulsory, and use "depends on your experience and skills". However, riding on the pavement is illegal.
Bicycles must furthermore be road-worthy, which in Great Britain means that the bicycle must have "two efficient braking systems" that operate independently on both wheels. This includes fixed-gear bicycles, where backwards pressure on the pedals acts as a brake, so only a front brake is required in this case.
For riding in the hours of darkness between sunset and sunrise, cyclists must have at least a red rear light and a white front light, as well as a red rear reflector and four amber pedal reflectors (one at the back and one at the front on each pedal).
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Cycling in the United Kingdom.|
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