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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 3.00pm on Friday 31 March until 8.00am Monday 3 April 2023: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Get into cycling

Cycling is a relatively easy and affordable type of physical activity. If you're new to cycling, just rusty, or you want to improve your health, this page has information to help you.

Cycling is one of the easiest ways to become more active. It is low impact, can relive stress and improve your mood and self-esteem. Cycling gives you the chance to explore the outdoors, get to know your local area, meet new people and have fun!

Cycling is a great way to get your daily exercise on your own or with members of your household. It is also a fun way of getting to the shops for essential supplies and getting to work or school.

There are lots of health benefits for all ages if you cycle regularly such as helping to prevent cardiovascular disease, some cancers, Type 2 Diabetes and it can improve bone strength and help maintain a healthy weight.  

Cycle Durham

Cycle Durham provides free cycling activities across County Durham, helping people to get fitter, healthier, and happier. The scheme provides 'entry level' cycling sessions alongside opportunities to maintain and progress your physical activity levels.

What do we offer?

Learn to Ride (Adults) - If you cannot ride a bicycle but would like to learn, then join one of our courses. Our experienced instructors will help to develop balance, confidence and skills to enable you to ride a short distance comfortably. These courses are available to people 16 years and over who live, work or study in County Durham.

Please contact us to register your interest in an adult learn to ride course.

Back on Your Bike (Adults) -These half-day courses are suitable for anyone who can ride a bike but may need to refresh their skills before venturing out on their own. Courses will cover:

  • Correct helmet fitting
  • Pre ride safety checks
  • Safe braking
  • Steering
  • Gear changes
  • Basic maintenance
  • Short, off road guided ride

Cycle Durham can lend you a bike and helmet free of charge for the duration of the session.

Sofa to Cycle (Adults) - These courses are suitable for anyone who can ride a bike but would like to develop their skills. Throughout the course, you will be offered cycling advice, including:

  • Correct helmet fitting
  • Cycle sizing
  • Pre ride safety checks
  • Safe braking
  • Steering
  • Gear changes
  • Simple hand signals
  • Basic maintenance
  • Guided rides (eventually building up to approximately. 10 miles)

The programme is designed to build confidence when cycling and will progress from cycling at a gentle pace in a quiet traffic free environment, building up to a moderate pace cycling on quiet roads. The course will offer a programme of beginner's rides which will gradually increase in time and distance as the course progresses. 

Cycle Durham can loan you a bike and helmet free of charge for the duration of the course (terms and conditions apply).

For further information and course details please contact us.

Community Cycling Groups

A Community Cycle Club is a group of people who come together to do cycling for whatever purpose they choose. Cycle Durham are working in partnership with Cycling UK to create a network of Community Cycling Clubs/Groups across County Durham.

For more information please visit Cycling UK: community cycle clubs

To find your nearest Community Cycle Club please visit Cycling UK: find your local cycling group

Become a volunteer cycle leader

Visit our Culture and sport volunteering portal to find out more about becoming a volunteer cycle leader.

Tips on how to explore your local area safely

  • Enjoy yourself! You're going to feel great.
  • There's no rush, take your time to get fitter and stronger.
  • In the countryside, choose paths with least proximity to dwellings.
  • There are lots of multi-user routes to enjoy exploring.
  • Always be respectful of pedestrians, runners and horse riders and give way to them.
  • If overtaking, slow down, alert walkers with a bell or a friendly call and give them space. 
  • Do not cycle on pavements or public footpaths. If you need to use a pavement, you must push your bike.
  • Travel at a speed that allows you to stop easily. Don't try to get new personal records on busy routes.
  • If you are cycling on the road, be aware of other road users so you can anticipate their movements.
  • Make sure you indicate your intentions by signalling. Always look behind you before moving out into traffic or turning.
  • Don't take unnecessary risks, especially near lorries, trucks and buses as they have blind spots and may not be able to see you. Never cycle on the inside of a lorry, bus or truck.
  • Cycle on roads with care and consideration for other road users. Ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.
  • Cyclists must respect the rules of the road, including one-way streets and traffic lights.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings. Do not use a mobile phone while cycling.
  • Front and rear lights must be used whenever light or visibility is poor. It is illegal to cycle at night without a front white light and a red rear light.
  • Follow the Highway code.
  • The Highway Code applies to all vehicles including bicycles.

Free cycling activities

There are regular free cycling activities available throughout the county. To find a club right for you visit our Cycling groups and clubs.

Cycling safety information in schools

Available to all schools in the county, Bikeability (modern-day cycling proficiency) teaches primary and secondary children how to ride their bikes safely on the road. See our Cycling road safety schemes page for more information about the training we provide or contact your school.

Contact us
Ways to Wellbeing Service
03000 262539

Active Travel
03000 26 0000