Cycling is good for our health and wellbeing. It’s also good for the environment and can be great fun.

More of us have been cycling since the start of the pandemic. It’s a good habit, but it’s important to keep our bikes well maintained for safety and to make cycling easy and comfortable.

So if you’ve recently started cycling or want to get back in the saddle, see our simple tips below to get your bike in good shape and keep it that way.

At the same time, it’s a sad fact is that there are many redundant bicycles in sheds, garages and back yards, loved at one time but no longer used.

Maybe a bike has been outgrown and no longer suits its rider.  Or perhaps it has a puncture or some other defect that you never got round to repairing. Well, if it’s not going to get used, get it re-used!

The County Council and Yorwaste’s GET reCYCLING Campaign aims to encourage the reuse and recycling of pre-loved bikes.

Working with Yorwaste, The Recycle Project CIC, Get Cycling CIC and Resurrection Bikes, we want bicycles that aren’t being used to be recycled.

The North Yorkshire Rotters will lend a hand with the smoothie-making bike at GET recycling roadshows during July and August.

There will also be bike maintenance experts, so bring down your bike if you have a simple problem that they might be able to fix or advise on. There will also be a chance to pick up a free puncture repair kit to keep you on the road – and help you to repair a punctured inner tube rather than replace it.

The roadshow dates are:

  • Tuesday 27 July – Whitby area market – 9am to 2pm
  • Sunday 1 August – celebrating Yorkshire Day outside the Milton Rooms, Malton – noon to 4pm
  • Wednesday 4 August – Northallerton Market – 10am to 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 18 August – Knaresborough Market – 9am to 2pm
  • Friday 20 August – Promotional area outside Brown’s department store, 21 Davygate, York, YO1 8QT – 9am to 2pm
  • Monday 23 August – Selby Market Cross – 9am to 2pm

Give your bicycle a new lease of life and help someone else. All our household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) have an area to drop off your old bike – look out for the new orange signs.

Whether it’s a child’s, junior’s or adult’s cycle, a road bike, mountain bike, BMX, unicycle, tandem or just a good old classic bicycle, we’d love to have it. Take it along to any of the HWRC’s. The bikes are passed to one of our partners, where any necessary repairs and refurbishments are carried out. They are then fully safety checked before being passed on for reuse. It really doesn’t matter what condition the bike is in.

Five easy bike maintenance tips to make your ride more enjoyable

Inflate tyres to correct pressure – Having your tyres inflated to the correct pressure will make a massive difference to the comfort and ease of your ride. It will also help to prevent buckled wheels. The correct pressure can be found on the side wall of the tyre. If your pump does not have a pressure gauge you can use your hand to feel when the tyre starts to feel solid. Always avoid over inflating.

Set seat height – Having the right seat height will reduce back and knee ache, while giving you more efficiency on the down pedal. The easiest way to set your saddle height is to stand over the seat on the balls of your feet. The optimum position is the highest you can set it at without falling off when you come to a stop.

Oiling chain and components – Different oils are used for different components. If your chain is showing signs of rust, it’s better to use a spray oil before applying lubrication. Flip your bike upside down to make this job easier. Hold the can in one place and turn the pedals to rotate the chain (Be careful not to get oil on the braking surface of your wheel). Once you have applied a decent amount, lightly hold the chain with a dry rag and turn the pedals. This will run the chain through the rag, wiping off any excess oil. Repeat the process again with lubrication. Chains should be oiled every two to four weeks depending on usage.

Tighten brakes – This will not always work if your brake pads are severely worn. Turn the adjuster screw anti clockwise. The more you turn it the tighter your brakes will become. Be careful not to over-tighten as your wheels will not spin freely. Once you are happy with how tight they are, turn the outer nut to lock in place.

Adjusting brake/gear levers – Adjusting your controls sounds scary, but is in practice very straight forward and will make your ride safer with less pressure on your hands and wrist. There is no right place to set your controls and it’s purely down to personal preference. Turn the bolt anti-clockwise to loosen the component. To find the correct position, sit on the bike with your hands on the grips as if you are riding, adjust levers until they feel comfortable. Lock in place by turning the bolt right.