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What Is It Really Like Cycling in Ely?


Nestled amid the enchanting landscapes of Cambridgeshire, Ely is a cathedral city that beckons cyclists with its serene charm and rich history.

In this article, we’ll unveil the unique experience of cycling in Ely, where your journey unfolds against natural beauty and centuries of heritage.

Ely, often called the “Isle of Eels” due to its history of eel fishing in the surrounding Fens, offers cyclists a delightful blend of experiences.

From navigating historic streets adorned with medieval architecture to meandering along the tranquil waters of the River Great Ouse, this city caters to a wide range of cycling preferences.

Whether you’re a dedicated cyclist, a leisure rider, or a family seeking scenic routes, Ely has something to offer.

So, fasten your helmet, check your tire pressure, and embark on a pedal-powered adventure through the heart of Ely.

Ely City Cycling Statistics


Cycling statistics for Ely provide insights into the city’s cycling scene. As of the latest available data:

  • Cycling Mode Share: Ely boasts a cycling mode share of approximately 3.5% for all journeys, reflecting a significant number of residents and visitors who opt for bicycles.
  • Gender Split: The cycling community in Ely demonstrates a fairly balanced gender split, with around 55% male and 45% female cyclists. This balance underscores the inclusivity of Ely’s cycling culture.
  • Most Popular Age Group: The 30-50 age group is the most active in cycling in Ely, with a strong representation among the cycling community.
  • Most Popular Cycling Trips: Ely’s most common cycling trips include commuting to work or school, shopping, and recreational rides. Ely’s cycling infrastructure caters to various purposes, making it accessible and convenient for everyday activities and leisurely exploration.

These statistics offer a glimpse into Ely’s diverse and inclusive cycling landscape, where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the benefits of pedal-powered travel. Ely’s commitment to cycling is reflected in its cycling-friendly initiatives and infrastructure, making it an ideal city for cyclists of all backgrounds.


Cycle bike hire in Ely


Cycling enthusiasts visiting Ely have access to convenient bike hire services that make exploring the city and its surroundings even more enjoyable. While Ely may have a limited city-wide cycle hire scheme, some local businesses and services offer bike rentals to cater to your cycling needs.

  • The Eel Trail Cycle Hire: Located in the heart of Ely, The Eel Trail Cycle Hire is a popular choice for visitors. You can rent a bike for a few hours or a full day to explore Ely’s historic streets and the stunning Eel Trail, which takes you along the scenic waters of the River Great Ouse.
  • Cambridge Cycle Hire: While not in Ely itself, Cambridge Cycle Hire offers bike rentals and is a great option if you’re planning a day trip from Ely to Cambridge. They provide a variety of bicycles, including city bikes and hybrids, making it easy to explore both cities.
  • Local B&Bs and Guesthouses: Some local bed and breakfasts and guesthouses in Ely offer bike rentals to their guests. If you’re staying in one of these accommodations, it’s worth checking if they provide this service, as it can be a convenient way to explore the city.

Before renting a bike, inquire about the rental rates, available bike types, and any additional equipment you may need, such as helmets and locks. Exploring Ely on two wheels is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city’s beauty and history. Enjoy your cycling adventure!


Top 3 cycling routes in Ely


Ely and its picturesque surroundings offer a variety of cycling routes that cater to different preferences, from leisurely rides to more challenging journeys. Here are the top three cycling routes in and around Ely:

  • Eel Trail Loop: The Eel Trail is a must-visit for cyclists in Ely. This delightful route takes you on a circular journey along the River Great Ouse, passing through scenic landscapes, charming villages, and historic sites. The trail is well-marked and offers various distances, making it suitable for all levels of cyclists. You can explore Ely’s countryside, enjoy waterside views, and even stop for a picnic.


  • Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve: For a nature-focused cycling adventure, head to Wicken Fen, a short ride from Ely. This National Trust reserve boasts a network of cycling paths that wind through wetlands, woodlands, and lush meadows. It’s a paradise for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, with opportunities to spot wildlife while pedalling through the fenland wilderness.


  • Ely to Cambridge: For a longer day trip or a more challenging ride, consider cycling from Ely to Cambridge. This route takes you through the picturesque Cambridgeshire countryside and allows you to explore both cities. As you approach Cambridge, you’ll encounter serene landscapes, quaint villages, and the iconic River Cam. Once in Cambridge, you can explore the historic city before returning to Ely.


These top cycling routes in Ely offer diverse experiences, from historical and cultural exploration to immersion in the natural beauty of the Fens. Whether you are looking for a leisurely pedal or a more rigorous adventure, Ely’s surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for your cycling journey.

Bike shops in Ely


With its cycling-friendly atmosphere, Ely has several bike shops where you can find everything from bicycles and accessories to expert advice. Here are some of the bike shops in Ely:

  • Barrett’s of Ely: A well-established bike shop in the heart of Ely, They also provide servicing and repairs, ensuring your bike is in top condition for your rides.


  • Bespoke Cycling: Bespoke Cycling specializes in high-end road and mountain bikes, making it a go-to place for enthusiasts looking for premium bikes and accessories. They offer personalized fitting services to ensure your bike fits you perfectly.


  • Three Peaks Cycles: Located in nearby Cambridge, Three Peaks Cycles is worth a visit if you’re seeking a diverse selection of bikes and equipment. They offer road, mountain, and hybrid bikes, clothing, and accessories for all riders.


  • Online Retailers: Additionally, many online retailers offer a wide variety of cycling equipment, accessories, and clothing, which you can order from the comfort of your home and have delivered to Ely.

Before visiting a bike shop, it’s a good idea to check their operating hours, available services, and the specific brands they stock to ensure they meet your cycling needs.


Where to lock your bike in Ely


Ensuring the safety of your bike while exploring Ely is crucial. Ely provides various options for locking your bike securely to keep it protected. Here are some recommendations on where to lock your bike in Ely:

  • Bike Racks: Ely features numerous bike racks throughout the city, particularly in the city centre and popular destinations like Ely Cathedral and the riverside. Look for these racks to lock your bike securely.#


  • Public Areas: In the city centre, you can find designated bike parking areas near shopping streets and public buildings. These areas are often equipped with bike racks or posts where you can lock your bike.


  • Train Station: If you’re arriving in Ely by train, the Ely train station typically provides dedicated bike parking facilities. You can lock your bike at the station’s bike racks, ensuring it’s safe while you explore the city.


  • Secure Parking: Some accommodations, such as hotels or guesthouses, may offer secure bike storage. If you’re staying in such a place, inquire about their bike storage options.


  • Cafes and Shops: While some cafes and shops in Ely may not have designated bike racks, they might allow you to lock your bike near their entrances. Always ask for permission and ensure your bike is not obstructing pedestrian traffic.

Remember to use a high-quality lock to secure your bike, and lock it through the frame and the front wheel whenever possible. Taking these precautions lets you explore Ely with peace of mind, knowing your bike is safe and sound.


Cycling in the City Ely Reddit


“Ely is such a hidden gem for cyclists! I’ve been exploring this city on my bike for a while now, and it’s been a fantastic experience. The Eel Trail is a favourite, offering beautiful riverside views and a relaxing ride. Plus, the bike-friendly culture here is welcoming, and the bike lanes make commuting a breeze. Ely, you’ve won my cycling heart!”

“Ely’s cycling scene is thriving, and I couldn’t be happier. The local cycling clubs are so inclusive and have a great sense of community. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned rider, you’ll find like-minded folks to share your passion. The Ely to Cambridge route is my go-to for a challenging ride, and the bike shops in the area have been incredibly helpful. Ely is a top-notch city for cyclists!”


Local cycling clubs in Ely


Ely boasts a thriving cycling community, and there are several local cycling clubs where enthusiasts can connect, ride together, and share their passion for cycling. Here are a few local cycling clubs in Ely:

  • Ely & District Cycling Club: The Ely & District Cycling Club is a well-established club with a strong presence in the area. They cater to cyclists of all levels, from beginners to experienced riders, and offer various group rides, time trials, and social events. The club is known for its welcoming atmosphere and focus on camaraderie.


  • Fenland Clarion Cycling Club: Fenland Clarion is another prominent cycling club in Ely. They organize regular group rides, including road and off-road options, and have a friendly and inclusive membership. The club emphasizes the enjoyment of cycling and often participates in local and regional cycling events.


  • Ely City Cycling Group: Ely City Cycling Group is a community-driven organization encouraging cycling in and around Ely. While not a formal club, they organize leisurely rides and social events, making them an excellent choice for those who prefer a more relaxed and social approach to cycling.


  • Cambridge Cycling Club (Ely Section): The Cambridge Cycling Club has an Ely section that welcomes cyclists from the Ely area. They organize various rides, from casual social outings to more competitive events, and often collaborate with other local clubs for joint rides.


  • Ely Tri Club: Ely Tri Club focuses on triathlon training and racing, including cycling as one of its core disciplines. It’s a great choice if you’re interested in combining cycling with swimming and running in a supportive and competitive environment.


Joining a local cycling club is an excellent way to meet fellow cyclists, discover new routes, and improve your skills. Many of these clubs offer trial rides or introductory events, so you can find the one that best suits your cycling preferences and goals.


Final verdict


In conclusion, Ely offers a vibrant and welcoming cycling community that embraces riders of all levels and backgrounds. The city’s picturesque landscapes, including the enchanting Eel Trail, make it a cyclist’s paradise.

Ely’s commitment to cycling infrastructure and the warm camaraderie of local cycling clubs foster a sense of belonging among enthusiasts. While the city’s cycling mode share may be modest, its growth potential and dedication to creating a more cycling-friendly environment are evident.

Ely continues to evolve into a city where cyclists can thrive, explore, and enjoy the freedom of two wheels. Whether you’re a leisurely rider or a passionate enthusiast, Ely invites you to pedal through its charming streets and scenic routes.



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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