Person Cycling in Bewl Water

Cycling 101: Keeping You and Your Bike Safe for Kent’s Roads

Keeping your bike in shape, as much as it will keep you in shape, is the key to making the most of your ride on the Kent and Sussex roads, as well as public trails this year. Whether it’s the comfort of your saddle or the double tap check of your brakes, your cycle safety is a priority as the days get brighter and your two-wheeled companion has you cruising and enjoying the view of the world.


8 Top Tips for Bike Maintenance and Safety

From those who regularly get out on their bike, to the novice cyclists who are keen to enjoy the Kent and Sussex roads and bike trails, Kent County Council has been making efforts to improve cycle routes across the region and encourage a more active lifestyle with their right of way improvement plan. After all, Kent is a great place to live, work, and play, and there is an abundance of trails and roads to enjoy cycling, including the 12.5 miles that surround the Bewl Water reservoir.

Whether it’s bike maintenance or cycle safety on the roads, it is important to be prepared when riding your bike, especially on the open road. This is why we took the time to speak with our bike hire maintenance team at Bewl Water, who gave us their top tips for bike maintenance, safety, and road riding well-being!

Two elderly men cycling on Bewl Water Cycle path

  1. Ride your size

Riding the right size bike is very important for the handling and control of your gears, brakes, and balance. The bike frame is the only part of the bike that can’t be adjusted, unlike the handlebars and seat height, so finding the best fitting bike is key to a safe cycle.

Once you have chosen your frame, make the necessary adjustments to the handlebars and seat. Once adjusted, make sure the saddle is fitted securely and at the right angle for you, and that your seat post clamp is tightened.

Person fixing bicycle wheel

  1. Pump it up

When it comes to your bicycle tyres, pressure is everything! The wheels on your bike can vary in size, tread, and the terrain that they are designed for. Following manufacturers’ guidelines, you must keep your tyres at their optimal pressure, and this can change whether you are using a commuting road bike or a sporting mountain bike.

It is also worth checking the spokes on your wheels to make sure any bent or damaged ones aren’t affecting how they spin!

a person going on a sunset bike ride in Bewl Water

  1. Bike brakes

Checking your bike’s brakes is a simple task. Spin the wheels and then gently touch the brakes to make sure the pads are biting on the wheel, and the cables are working as expected. Ultimately, you want to make sure that your brakes will stop you in the case of an emergency.

Bike wheel

  1. Lubricate and clean

Oiling your bike chain, gear mechanisms, and cables will help with the longevity of your bike ride. However, we don’t recommend oiling your bike if it’s wet, as this can mean the water doesn’t fully evaporate and can cause rust.

Bike Handle

  1. Day or night, remember your lights!

Making sure that your bike is kitted out with reflectors and front and rear lights will ensure cycle safety on the Kent roads and beyond. Having your lights set to intermittently flash will cause drivers and pedestrians to be aware of you – day or night!

Two people riding bikes and wearing helmets

  1. Bike helmets

Although it is not a law to wear a cycle helmet in the UK, there is more than enough evidence to encourage never heading off on a ride without one. In fact, a worldwide study of over 64,000 cyclists found that wearing a helmet reduced serious head injury by up to 69%!

At Bewl Water, we supply helmets to visitors for this very reason, and it is a requirement to wear one when hiring a bike to cycle around our reservoir and woodland trails.

Man cycling with red cycling uniform

  1. Wear bright cycling clothes

Being visible on Kent and Sussex roads and trails is key to safety. Whether you choose a reflective jacket or extra reflective gear, the key is to be seen come rain or shine. It is also good to be prepared should your bike get a puncture and you need to spend some time on the side of a road or on a verge.

Bike Bell

  1. Ding ding, use a bike bell

Using a bike bell is a simple way to let walkers and runners on the same paths and trails as you know that you are there. A quick ring and a hello is a respectful way to share the paths and not cause alarm when getting ready to pass.

At Bewl Water, you share the paths with many dog walkers, hikers, and joggers, so we encourage cyclists to say a quick hello as they get close to others on the path.

Bike hire at Bewl Water

If you’re looking for somewhere new to put our top tips into action, our beautiful reservoir borders the counties of Kent and Sussex in Lamberhurst, where cyclists can enjoy 12.5 miles of woodland and water’s edge cycling trails.

With breathtaking views and plenty of pit-stops along the way, including at our Waterfront Cafe, taking a bike ride at Bewl Water has never been easier!

To book your bike hire at Bewl Water, click here. We have bikes for children and adults, so the whole family can visit!

Please note that during the winter months, a limited part of the Bewl Water cycling trail is available due to preserving and protecting the ground for the summer months.