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What is it like to cycle in Bristol?



Welcome to Bristol, where the enchanting world of cycling awaits! Picture yourself gliding through the vibrant streets, feeling the cool breeze against your face, and immersing yourself in a city that embraces the bicycle as more than just a mode of transport—it’s a way of life.

In this article, we invite you to join us on an extraordinary journey as we unravel the captivating charm and endless possibilities cycling in Bristol offers.

From historic landmarks to hidden gems and bustling markets to serene greenways, Bristol’s cycling scene is a kaleidoscope of experiences that will leave you inspired and longing for more. Saddle up, and let’s embark on an adventure you won’t want to miss!

Bristol City Cycling Statistics


In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people cycling in Bristol, and the City is now home to several cycling initiatives.

According to the latest statistics, 10% of Bristolians now Cycle to work, and the amount of cycling in Bristol had doubled since 2008, when Bristol was awarded Cycling City status. Three-fifths of households (60%) have access to at least one bike, and three-fifths (61%) of families with children have at least one child’s bike.

In Bristol, 57% of residents walk at least five days a week. This compares to just 25% who drive. A further 10% cycle, and 6% use public transport, making walking, wheeling, and cycling the most used forms of transportation.

Cyclists accounted for 9-11% of road users each month in 2021. There are 18 million bike trips in Bristol in a year. 80 in 100 people support increasing the safety of cycling in Bristol. 70% of people want to see more spent on cycling in Bristol.

Bristol is a good city for cycling, but there is room for improvement. The City has been named the ninth most dangerous City in the UK for cycling, but several initiatives are underway to make it safer. These include creating more cycle lanes, introducing a “low traffic neighborhood” scheme in some areas, and introducing a “safer streets” program.

Overall, Bristol is a city that is committed to making cycling a more attractive and safer option for its residents. With continued investment and improvement, Bristol could become one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the UK.


Cycle bike hire in Bristol


In Bristol, there are several places where you can hire a cycle bike to explore the City’s beautiful sights and attractions. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, these rental options provide a convenient and eco-friendly way to experience Bristol on two wheels. Here are some popular places to hire cycle bikes in Bristol:


  • YoBike: YoBike is a dockless bike-sharing scheme that allows you to rent bikes using their mobile app. The bikes are scattered throughout the City, and you can quickly locate and unlock them with the app. Once you’re done, park the bike in a designated zone and end your rental on the app.


  • Bristol Bike Project: This community-based initiative offers affordable bike rentals and aims to promote cycling as a sustainable means of transport. They have a wide range of bicycles, including standard and electric bikes, suitable for different preferences and needs.


  • Cycle the City: If you’re looking for guided bike tours or want to explore Bristol with a knowledgeable local guide, Cycle the City provides guided cycling tours along various routes, highlighting the City’s history, landmarks, and hidden gems.


  • Bike Hire Bristol: Located near popular tourist spots, Bike Hire Bristol offers daily bike rentals with flexible rental periods. They have a selection of well-maintained bikes, including City, mountain, and tandems, making it ideal for couples, families, or solo adventurers.


  • Mud Dock Cycleworks: This renowned cycle shop sells bikes and rentals for those looking to experience Bristol on a quality two-wheeler. They offer a variety of bike types, and their staff can help you find the perfect fit for your cycling needs.


Before hiring a cycle bike, ensure you have valid identification and, if necessary, a deposit or rental fee. With a rented cycle bike, you can effortlessly explore Bristol’s diverse neighborhoods, parks, and scenic routes, creating unforgettable memories as you pedal through this charming, bike-friendly City.


Top 3 cycling routes in Bristol


Bristol is a cyclist’s paradise, offering a plethora of stunning routes that cater to all levels of riders. Here are the top three cycling routes in Bristol, each with its unique charm and scenic beauty:


  • The Bristol and Bath Railway Path:

This iconic and traffic-free route follows the path of a former railway line, connecting the vibrant cities of Bristol and Bath. Covering approximately 13 miles, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path takes cyclists through picturesque countryside, quaint villages, and lush greenery. It’s perfect for a leisurely family ride or a more intense cycling workout. Along the way, you’ll pass the impressive Avon Valley viaduct and find various cafes and rest spots to refuel and enjoy the surroundings.


  • Harbourside Loop:

Ideal for urban explorers, the Harbourside Loop offers a delightful 5-mile route, showcasing Bristol’s stunning waterfront and bustling harbors. The ride takes you past historic landmarks, modern developments, and lively attractions such as Brunel’s SS Great Britain, M Shed Museum, and the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. As you cycle along the harborside, you’ll soak in the vibrant atmosphere, street art, and a wide array of cafes and eateries where you can take a break and relish the views.


  • Leigh Woods and Ashton Court Circuit:

The Leigh Woods and Ashton Court Circuit is a must-try route for mountain biking enthusiasts and nature lovers. This 10-mile trail ventures through two stunning estates, offering challenging off-road sections with exhilarating descents and rewarding climbs. Ashton Court Estate boasts extensive woodlands and open fields, while Leigh Woods provides picturesque trails with breathtaking views of the Avon Gorge. It’s an adventure-packed route that allows you to escape the City’s hustle and immerse yourself in Bristol’s beautiful natural surroundings.


Before embarking on these cycling routes, make sure your bike is in good condition, carry necessary supplies like water, snacks, and a map or GPS device, and adhere to local cycling regulations.



Bike shops in Bristol


Bristol has numerous bike shops catering to cyclists of all levels and interests. Whether you want to purchase a new bike, need accessories, or require maintenance and repairs, these bike shops have covered you. Here are some of the top bike shops in Bristol:


  • Mud Dock Cycleworks:

Located along the Harbourside, Mud Dock Cycleworks is one of Bristol’s most renowned bike shops. They offer a vast selection of bikes from top brands, including road, mountain, hybrids, and electric bikes. In addition to bike sales, they provide bike servicing, repairs, and custom builds. The shop also features a cafe overlooking the water, making it a popular spot for cyclists to gather and share their passion.


  • Bikesmiths:

Bikesmiths is an independent bike shop located on North Street in Southville. They focus on urban commuting, city bikes, accessories, clothing, and bike components. The shop’s staff are friendly and knowledgeable, providing expert advice and customer assistance.


  • Roll for the Soul:

More than just a bike shop, Roll for the Soul is a community-focused cycling cafe located on Quay Street. They offer bike servicing, repairs, and a range of urban and City bikes. The restaurant serves delicious food and drinks, creating a welcoming space for cyclists to gather, socialize, and exchange stories.


  • Bike UK:

Bike UK is a long-established bike shop with multiple locations across Bristol. They carry many bikes, including mountain, road, kids, and electric bikes. Their experienced team provides excellent customer service and can assist with bike fitting, repairs, and maintenance.


  • Jake’s Bikes:

Situated on Gloucester Road, Jake’s Bikes is a family-run bike shop known for its friendly and personalized service. They offer a good selection of new and used bikes, accessories, and bike parts.


  • Bristol Bicycles:

Bristol Bicycles specializes in high-quality, locally-built bikes for city commuting and touring. They pride themselves on sustainability and craft durable, practical, and environmentally friendly bicycles.


These are just a few of the many bike shops scattered throughout Bristol. From purchasing a new bike to finding the right accessories and maintaining your current ride, these shops will ensure a fantastic cycling experience in Bristol.


Where to lock your bike in Bristol


When cycling around Bristol, securing your bike correctly is essential to prevent theft. Fortunately, the City offers several designated places to lock your bike safely. Here are some recommended spots to lock your bike in Bristol:


  • Bike Racks:

Bristol city center and various neighborhoods have bike racks installed by the local authorities. These racks provide a secure place to lock your bike while exploring nearby attractions, running errands, or enjoying a restaurant meal. Look for bike racks near popular destinations, public buildings, shopping centers, and transport hubs.


  • Cycle Hubs:

Bristol also has cycle hubs located at critical locations, such as train stations and busy transportation hubs. These cycle hubs are secure facilities with CCTV, bike stands, and sometimes additional services like bike repairs and rentals. The Temple Meads Cycle Hub, located at Bristol Temple Meads Train Station, is one such facility.


  • Bike Storage Facilities:

Some residential and commercial properties in Bristol offer dedicated bike storage facilities for residents, employees, or visitors. Use the secure bike storage area provided if you live or work in such a building.


  • Indoor Bike Parking:

Opt for indoor bike parking within shopping centers, offices, or public buildings when available. Many places now offer indoor bike racks or dedicated bike parking zones to enhance security.


  • Bristol’s “Bikehangars”:

In some areas of Bristol, you may find “Bikehangars,” secure bike storage units placed on residential streets. These lockable hangars are available for rent by residents, providing a safe option for bike storage.


  • Bike Repair Shops:

Some bike repair shops in Bristol offer temporary bike parking for customers. If you need to quickly run an errand or grab a coffee, check if the nearby bike shop provides parking facilities.


 Avoid leaving your bike’s valuable accessories, such as lights or bags, unattended. Park your bike in well-lit and populated areas to deter potential thieves whenever possible. By taking these precautions and utilizing the designated bike parking options, you can enjoy cycling in Bristol with greater peace of mind.


Cycling in the City Bristol Reddit

  • “I’ve been cycling in Bristol for years and I love it. There are so many great routes to explore, and the City is really committed to making cycling a safe and accessible option.”


  • “I’ve only been cycling in Bristol for a few months, but I’ve really enjoyed it. The cycle lanes are well-maintained, and the drivers are generally good at giving cyclists space.

Overall, people think that Bristol is a good city for cycling. There are many cycle lanes, and people generally give cyclists space. However, there are some things to be aware of, such as the hills and the fact that it is one of the most dangerous cities in the UK for cycling. With a bit of care and attention, cycling in Bristol can be a great way to get around.


Local cycling clubs in Bristol


Bristol is home to several local cycling clubs that cater to cyclists of various interests and abilities. Here are a few notable cycling clubs in the area:


  • Bristol Road Club (BRC): One of Bristol’s oldest and most established cycling clubs, BRC offers a friendly and welcoming environment for road cyclists. They organize regular group rides, time trials, and various social events. Whether you’re a seasoned road cyclist or a beginner looking to improve, BRC has a range of rides suitable for all abilities.


  • Bristol South Cycling Club (BSCC): BSCC is another long-standing cycling club with a diverse membership catering to road cyclists and time trial enthusiasts. They organize group rides, training sessions, and social events, fostering a supportive and inclusive community.


  • Severn RC: Severn RC is a friendly and active cycling club that welcomes riders of all ages and abilities. They offer various road rides and off-road and mountain bike outings. The club’s members are known for their camaraderie and passion for cycling.


  • VC Walcot: VC Walcot is a famous cycling club focusing on road and track cycling. They cater to competitive and recreational cyclists and organize regular training rides, club races, and social gatherings.


  • Mud Dock Cycle Club: Mud Dock Cycle Club is associated with the Mud Dock Cycleworks shop and cafe. They offer a range of group rides and events, including road rides, mountain biking, and social rides. The club emphasizes the joy of cycling and encourages participation for all skill levels.


  • Bristol Mountain Bike Club: The Bristol Mountain Bike Club provides a friendly and supportive community for mountain biking enthusiasts. They arrange mountain bike rides across various trails and skill levels, catering to beginners and experienced riders alike.


Final verdict


In conclusion, cycling in Bristol is an enriching and stimulating experience that caters to cyclists of all interests and skill levels. From the scenic Bristol and Bath Railway Path to the urban charm of the Harbourside Loop and the thrilling trails of Leigh Woods and Ashton Court, the City offers a diverse array of cycling routes to explore.

Embracing a bike-friendly lifestyle in Bristol allows you to savor the City’s vibrant culture and historic landmarks and contributes to sustainable transportation and a healthier, active lifestyle.

So, saddle up, discover the enchanting pedal paradise of Bristol, and let your bike wheels lead you to unforgettable adventures in this captivating City.








Arjun Mertiya

Arjun Mertiya


Since Arjun was a young child, bikes have played a big part of his life. He races bikes, rides bikes and also loves writing about bikes. It’s always just been a way of life for Arjun and a passion that he loves to share with others..

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