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Safe cycling

Welcome to our "Safe cycling" page.

In partnership with the University's Sustainable Travel program, we hope to give you useful and practical advice and assistance. Visit the Sustainability Services pages for up to date information for all things cycling.

From here you can find lots of information regarding cycling on campus and also links to videos and editorials giving practical advice for a number of issues and topics.

The university has a large number of bicycle users and has provided bike racks throughout the campus, but that's not all we do for cyclists.

Did you know that you can record all your bike details by downloading our free "Bicycle-passport"?

From a security point of view we can offer practical advice regarding keeping your valuable bike safe and secure and we also deal with abandoned cycles to help keep the racks clear for use.

Bicycle theft

Cycle theft is a problem in many locations in the UK, and yes… it happens here as well.

However, we are working hard to try to reduce this type of crime, and there is a lot you can do to help us to help you.

To avoid bike theft one of the first things you can do is lock up your bike at a university approved bike rack.

There are numerous bicycle racks located around the campus for use by the staff , students and the campus community.

These bicycle racks are typically in public locations, and although bike theft does occur we are hoping to reduce it further with the combined efforts of the security services and the local police

Please Note

The parking of bicycles in corridors and stairways is prohibited in all buildings, as this disrupts the flow of people and creates an unnecessary obstacle if an incident was to occur where a quick exit is crucial.

If, however, a bike is left or locked at a location other than the approved racks, such as railings or attached to a tree or lamp post, then theft is more likely to occur, as thieves will always look for the easy pickings.

How safe is your bike?

Watch the following programme if you want to see just how quickly your locks can be broken: Gone in sixty seconds

Which locks should I use

Remember that "No Lock" is unbreakable and if you have watched the above video you will see that if a thief is determined and has the right equipment he can bypass most locks.

However, do not despair as the average bike thief is not always as well equipped, and by working together we can reduce the opportunity for the thief to strike.

Try to buy the best lock you can afford, most guides give the advice to spend at least 10% of the value of the bike on locks to secure it.

Buy at least two locks and make sure that one of them is a "D" Type lock.

"D"Locks ( also called U locks) are often thought to give the best protection and are more difficult for the thief to remove, and with a two lock combination the thief may well pass by your bike in favour of an easier target.

You can buy a good quality "D" Lock from Security in Whiteknights house ( £14:00). Please give us a call to check stock levels. Tel: 0118 378 7799.

How to secure your bike

  1. Always use the designated bike racks, as they are more public and may be covered by cctv.
  2. Make sure you lock both the rear wheel and the frame with one lock to the bike rack, and the front wheel and the frame with another lock to the bike rack.
  3. If you are using a "D" Lock, make sure it is a tight fit as the more space you leave between the bike and the anchor point , the easier it will be to hit it with a hammer or use some other device to break it open.
  4. Remove all your accessories such as lights, pumps and even the seat if you can as this will make your bike less attractive to the thief.
  5. Register your bike with security and get a security label to show any would-be thief that it has been registered (proven deterrent).
  6. You can always park your bike next to one with cheap locks and hopefully it will be theirs and not yours that goes missing.
  7. If you have a particularly expensive bike it may be worth looking into using a Pitlock to secure your wheels etc.

What to do if my bike is stolen

In the event of your bicycle being stolen, always report it to the police in the first instance and then inform security with the details.

The police will want as much information as you can give about your bike and will ask lots of questions regarding where the bike was locked, make and model etc..

When you have given all the information to the police, you will need to ask for the crime reference number as this will be useful when making a claim on your insurance

Keep the number safe as you will need to quote this number to the police if you make any further enquiries or have any further information to give the police after you have reported the theft.

  • To report a theft, call the police on the non-emergency number 101

Do you know your bike frame number?

Thames Valley Police recover hundreds of potentially stolen bicycles each year but have no way of reuniting them with owners who don't know the frame number.

Not sure how to find yours?

Call into security for assistance, and while you are there take the opportunity to register your bike for a free "Bicycle passport" and security label.

If you don't want your bike registered make sure you at least keep a record of your bike's frame number somewhere so it can be traced should it be stolen.

Abandoned bikes

Security regularly check the bicycle racks to see if any bikes appear to have been abandoned, if it does seem that a bike is no longer being used it will be removed in accordance with our abandoned bike policy.

If you suspect that a bike has been abandoned please call the security office so that the above policy can be put into effect (0118 378 7799).

If you intend to leave your bike for an extended period then inform security so that we don't assume it has been abandoned.

If you no longer want your bike please don't just abandon it - donate it to our bike recycling scheme so someone else can use it.

Bicycle Passport

This service has now been reduced.

Security will no longer register an individual's bicycle details, but will still supply a security label which is very hard to get off.

Students are now being asked to register their cycles on the national database, at

This is the database that the Police will check in the event of any cycles being stolen and then recovered.

You can still download the bicycle passport sheet, which will help you fill out the details needed for the national database.

Responsible Cycling

Please ensure you cycle responsibly on and off campus, both for your own safety and the safety of others around you.

How visible are you?

If you are cycling at night, do you have any lights? And if not, be aware that it is illegal not to have any and you could be stopped by the police and receive an on the spot fine.

Please ensure you have both front and rear lights and that they are strong enough to be seen from a distance.

It is also a good idea to wear a Hi Vis- vest or jacket so that drivers can see you and avoid any unessarsary swerving at the last minute.

For more information please visit: Guidance for use of paths

Are you breaking the law?

Are you aware of the cycling laws in the UK? If not you could be unwittingly breaking the law.

Bicycle Maintenance

It is always a good idea to have your bike in the best possible condition for your safety as well as others and it should be obvious to everyone that good brakes are essential, but do you know how to service them?

Take a look at some of these videos showing simple bike maintenance for a few tips: Bike maintenance videos