Make 2023 the year of the bike, says Worksop councillor

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Have you made New Year resolutions? Why not resolve to cycle more in 2023?

Perhaps you have a bike that hasn’t been out of the shed for some time?

Now is a good time to check it over and get pedalling, writes Coun John Shephard, Bassetlaw Council cycling champion and Labour member for Worksop South East..

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Cycling is low cost, great fun, good for your health and helps the environment.

Coun John Shephard, Bassetlaw Council cycling champion and Labour member for Worksop South East.Coun John Shephard, Bassetlaw Council cycling champion and Labour member for Worksop South East.
Coun John Shephard, Bassetlaw Council cycling champion and Labour member for Worksop South East.

During 2022, Bassetlaw Council accessed Cycling UK/government funding to put on eight, free, cycle maintenance sessions in Worksop and Retford, with more planned in 2023.

The council also put on 90 free learn-to-ride places for schoolchildren, with more planned this year.

Here are some tips before you ride:

Ensure tyres are pumped up firmly – the correct maximum pressure is usually written on the tyre; Oil the chain regularly and wipe off the surplus; Check the brakes are effective by squeezing both levers, while dismounted, try pushing the bike and if the wheels still turn then the brakes need adjusting; If you are unsure how to adjust brakes, or set saddle height or any other maintenance issues, take your bike to your local cycle shop – regular servicing is recommended; Wear a helmet and invest in a lock to secure your precious bike.

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Where to cycle is another consideration. You may be concerned about cycling on the roads and, unfortunately, cyclists in Bassetlaw are often forced onto busy and dangerous roads – I encourage you to use cycle lanes where available.

When cycling on the road, always obey the Highway Code and traffic signals.

Clumber Park is ideal for cycling, with miles of off-road tracks, while the National Trust hosts free Breeze women-only led rides.

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You could use National Cycle Network route six to cycle to Clumber, which is mainly traffic free, or on quiet roads.

It passes through Worksop on the canal towpath and then continues through Manton and onto Clumber, and eventually to Nottingham and further south.

The other NCN route in Bassetlaw is 647, from Clumber to Lincoln over the spectacular Fledborough viaduct.

Local volunteers help maintain the network. A good way to get involved is to contact the Bassetlaw Friends of Cycling Facebook group.

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There is an excellent network of quiet minor roads around Bassetlaw. Especially enjoyable for cycling are the country lanes between the villages east of Retford.

Cycles can use bridleways/byways – these field paths are everywhere and can be enjoyable. The downside is they can be rough/muddy and the network is unplanned/random, with a bridleway suddenly changing to a footpath, with no cycling, as it crosses a boundary.

Along with others, I have been campaigning to get a network of safe cycle routes built.

I have worked with the council planning department to help build in cycle infrastructure at the planning stage of new developments.

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Providing cycle lanes is the responsibility of Nottinghamshire Council, which has positive plans for a future network of cycle routes.

Uunfortunately, what is planned for Bassetlaw in the immediate future is limited.

I encourage you to have your say as part of the county’s consultation on plans for cycle routes before March 8 – see

If you want more cycle routes, then do write to your local county councillor and call for action – see

Happy cycling.