Cycling

Bikes are the most energy-efficient form of transport and can be faster and more predictable than car or bus for short journeys. For example, at a relatively comfortable 10mph, you can cycle from Green Park to The Oracle in 15 minutes – burning around 100 calories in the process.

Cycling regularly can keep you fit, save you money (no tax, no fuel, no fares) and it’s one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to travel.

Cyclist crossing road in Reading

Cycle routes and maps

Cycling routes in Reading map

The major cycle routes through Reading are:

  • The National Cycling Routes that go through Reading 5, 4,422 and 23 offer quiet and pleasant alternatives for cyclists wishing to travel to and from Reading – Red
  • South Reading – Green Park & Whitley (R1, R10) – Green
  • Reading & Wokingham RBH, Uni & Winnersh (R2, R20, R21, R22) – Brown
  • East Reading -& Woodley Newtown & Bulmershe (R3) – Orange
  • North Reading Caversham & Emmer Green (R4, R40, R41) – Dark Pink
  • North-West Reading – Oxford Road & Tilehurst (R5, R51, R52) – Blue
  • South-West Reading – Coley Park & Southcote (R6, R60) – Light pink
  • West Reading – Tilehurst & Prospect Park – (R50) – Light blue

These routes are marked in full on the maps below.

You can plan a cycle ride from to Reading  using the National Cycle Network on the Sustrans website.

Bikeability – cycle training programme

Reading Borough Council offers Bikeability to all schools across Reading. These courses are based on the National Cycle Training Standard and aim to give children the skills and confidence to ride their bikes safely on today’s roads.

Our Bikeability scheme is delivered in partnership with Avanti Cycling and run by fully trained and security vetted personnel.

We offer three levels of core Bikeability training courses:

  • Level 1 – children learn how to control their bicycles and show are ready to start on-road training.
  • Level 2 – children learn to cycle safely with real traffic on quiet roads.
  • Level 3 – teaches safe cycling skills on busy roads and through complex junctions

We also offer the following Bikeability Plus courses:

  • Learn to Ride – For riders who can balance, this module is designed for anyone who has yet to master pedalling. Suitable for any age.
  • Fix – Learn the essentials of cycle maintenance ideal to ensure your cycle is always road-worthy.
  • Family – A course to help people living in the same household to cycle together. By the end of the module, at least one adult householder should have demonstrated National Standard assessment criteria at least to Bikeability Level 2.

To book onto a school course talk to your head teacher or contact our Bikeability provider, Avanti Cycling, who will be able to advise you on proposed course dates in schools. The details of the courses and contact details are available on the Avanti Cycling website.

For any queries related to bookings, holiday courses, and future course dates contact Greg Woodford, at Avanti Cycling – greg@avanticycling.co.uk. For any other queries, contact the Transport team – transport@reading.gov.uk.

Cyclists in a Reading park

Adult cycle training

Free adults cycling delivered in partnership with Avanti Cycling.

Group sessions for adults wanting to gain confidence riding a bike – either for commuting, exercise or just for fun. up sessions for adults (16+) wanting to gain confidence riding a bike – either for commuting, exercise or just for fun. 

We offer three levels:

  • Learn to ride – For complete beginners – develop balancing skills, pedalling in straight line, steering and braking.
  • Confidence Sessions- Back to Bike – Refresh your skills and confidence in cycling ahead of moving onto roads. Starting with basic bike check – also covers steering, braking, using gears and signalling.
  • Commuting and explorer skills – Gain the skills and confidence to tackle busier commuter routes with more complex junctions and infrastructure – along with route planning.

Get further details and book adult cycle training.  

Bike maintenance sessions

Free adults bike maintenance run by Avanti cycling and funded by the Council. Learn the basics of how to keep your bike on the road. Covering a full bike check; repairing punctures; adjusting brakes and gears

Get further details and book bike maintenance. 

Cycling safely

Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced cyclist you must obey the Highway Code. More information can be found on the Highway Code for Cyclists.

Some of the points illustrated in the code are:

On-road

  • You must abide by all traffic signs and traffic light signals.
  • Bus lanes may be used by cyclists only if the signs include a cycle symbol. Be very careful when overtaking or leaving a bus lane as you will be entering a busier traffic flow.
  • The law requires that you must have lights and reflectors when on the road between sunset and sunrise.
  • Advanced Stop Lines enable cyclists to position themselves ahead of other traffic at traffic signal junctions.

Off-road

  • Look out for footpaths designated as shared-use for pedestrians and cyclists -these may be segregated by a white line or unsegregated.
  • Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, elderly or disabled people and allow them plenty of room.
  • Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary.

Protecting your bike from theft

Some tips to keep your bike secure all times:

  • Double lock your bike and secure it, ideally use two secure-rated locks, lock both wheels and the frame, don’t let your lock lie on or near the ground where it can be smashed or leave space inside the lock where tools can be inserted. Always lock the frame to a solid object such as a bike stand, don’t lock your bike to a post and remove all your bike accessories.
  • Find a good location to leave your bike such as a busy street with lots of people where it is visible or a recognised secure cycle parking location. Don’t leave your bike in isolated or badly lit places,
  • Beware of social media – avoid putting up photos of your bike on social media, beware of bike tracking apps, avoid logging on tracking apps on your regular routes and avoid posting on social media about your location.
  • Keep a Record and Register Your Bike, insure your bike, take photos of your bike to identify it in case it is stolen. Register your bike with Immobilise or register on Bikeregister (UK wide) – the police use these databases to match stolen bikes and return them.
Bike storage outside Reading train station

Bike and train

Bicycles are carried on most trains operating on the National Rail Network. However, each train operating company has its own rules for full details on National Rail website.

Bike hire scheme

See Brompton Bike Hire for details on how to hire a bike.

Developing Reading’s cycling network

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) – a sub-strategy to our emerging Reading Transport Strategy 2036, sets out ambitious plans to transform our streets and encourage more people to choose cycling and walking for local journeys, or as part of longer multimodal journeys.  

 The National Cycle Network – NCN 422 – is a new national cycle route between Newbury and Windsor, including a section within Reading

Useful information

Cyclists sitting on a bench in Forbury Park, Reading