Yes, we do have some hills (sorry!), but a rise in e-bikes is helping more people be more sustainable and healthy. With everything so close and accessible in Sheffield bikes are an ideal way to move around, and here are some handy things to know if you're visiting us on two wheels.
Out at the hilliest edges of the city, on any day of the week, you’ll catch cyclists gritting their teeth as they face a tough climb, before gleefully freewheeling down the other side. While this terrain naturally provides for the thrill seeker, the denser urban areas have also started being more accommodating to commuters and visitors who want a more sustainable trip, a different pace, and a way of accessing places that might not be so easy on public transport.
More and more people have begun taking to the bike simply to get about the city. With a spike in cycling activity, and thanks to the efforts of campaign groups like Cycle Sheffield, better facilities have gradually followed. Today, public bike pumps dot the city centre, cycle lanes are on the up, and parking stands and lockers are fully mapped. Alongside all this, a bunch of new and independent businesses have cropped up and are thriving – repairing an inner tube here, replacing a helmet there, and hiring out bikes to visitors straight off the train.
So now that Sheffield and cycling are closer companions, here are our top tips for navigating the city’s urban streets on bike:
1. Hire a bike. Based at Sheffield Station, Russell’s Bicycle Shed is in the perfect location for daytrippers. As well as hiring out bikes (from just £1 an hour), Russell’s also offers access to the Cycle Hub: a secure storage space for hundreds of bikes, plus changing rooms.
There are also a plethora of independent bike shops across the city (as well as the nomadic Dr Bike Clinic - some of whom hire out too - so that no matter where you stay or plan to visit, you know you're covered for help if you need it. They'll also be able to help get your bike checked over if you want the reassurance - but to prevent this hassle whilst visiting, make use of Bike Rehab’s weekly maintenance checklist.
2. Familiarise yourself with the Sheffield Cycle Map and where to park your ride in the city centre (in any other district high streets around the city there's usually some bars - or a friendly lamppost if not!).
3. Plan your way from A to B with a hand from CycleStreets.
4. If you need a top up, there are plenty of free bicycle pumps.
5. Watch out for the tram tracks!
Now, get out there and explore the city.
Maps: Download Sheffield Cycle Map (PDF).
Useful links: Ride Sheffield is the mountain bike community's go-to site for news and updates.
Cycle Sheffield is a group of tireless campaigners for a cycle-friendly city.