Bikebus shows people how to get around their city by bicycle.
It started in Toulouse and has spread to many countries. It’s a bit like the walking school bus schemes that help young children get to school on foot but for adults who want to learn the routes in their area and enjoy the confidence that comes from riding in a group.
The basic idea is that the “bus” operates to a timetable and there is a “bus driver” who has volunteered to lead the ride and show people the route.
Some bike buses, like the Aire Valley Bikebus, are mainly to give commuters an opportunity to ride with others on their daily run to work, others are there to help people learn useful new routes around the city. Nether Edge Bikebus is starting with that aim but if there is support we may organise a morning commuter bikebus as well.
When will the bus run? And where?
We run a regular Saturday morning service, leaving Nether Edge at 10am for a round trip. The destination and route change each week to give people a chance to explore different routes that might be useful for work, shopping, evenings out or just getting around town, on the way back or at the end of the ride there will usually be a cafe stop. There will be a timetable on this website showing the route each week and also whether the bus is definitely running that week (which depends on volunteers to lead the ride)
We have four main routes designed so that when you have ridden them all you will have “The Knowledge” of safe unscary cycling routes in SouthWest Sheffield
Who can ride with the Bikebus?
Adults who can ride a bike safely and follow the Highway Code.
What about children?
Generally we don’t think it’s a good idea for children to take part. The aim of the ride is to focus on the individuals who come along and help them learn new safe routes, we can’t really do that if they are having to think about how their children are doing and other riders and the bus crew are also likely to be paying attention to the children’s safety and progress. However it’s very important for children to become confident cycling in the city and there is a lot that you can do. We have a page of information about the Bikebus and helping children to develop as cyclists
Is it dangerous?
Cycling is not a particularly dangerous activity, certainly not as dangerous as many people imagine, but accidents can happen so when riding in the bikebus you have to take responsibility for yourself, follow the highway code and keep alert. However the routes are chosen to keep you away from traffic as far as possible, following recommended cycle routes if they are available. Riding in a group you are more visible and people often find the group gives them greater confidence.
Will the Bikebus help me learn to ride safely in Sheffield?
Bikebus is NOT a training scheme although it might help people to widen their experience and gain local knowledge If you feel you need some training and support in building your confidence you are strongly advised to find out about the excellent training provided to Sheffield citizens by the Pedal Ready organisation.
What do I need?
You need a bicycle in good working order** and clothing that is comfortable for cycling and suitable for the weather, here’s some good advice about clothing and cycling. It’s better if your clothing is easy for other road users to see but that does not mean you have to wear Hi-Viz clothing unless you prefer to. Similarly many people prefer to ride in a helmet but it’s not a requirement. If you do not have a driving licence you should think about how well you understand the rules of the road and it would be a good idea to read the Highway Code. You may find it useful to use a sample Highway Code test such as this one. (NB such sites exist as advertising media, they are not part of an official training or testing organisation)
How do I join?
You can just turn up if you decide at the last minute but it’s extremely helpful if you email the bus driver with our magic message box to say you are coming on a particular day. That way we can let you know if there are any changes of plan.
**If you are uncertain about the condition of your bike it’s wise to have it serviced, There are several bike shops in our area who will do this. One of the most popular is Albert Butterworths on London Rd, near the Sheldon Road junction, they offer a very affordable repair and maintenance service and specialise in breathing life back into faithful old bikes rather than selling expensive new ones.
**If you need a new bicycle Butterworths have a small range of affordable bikes for sale, otherwise Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative in Broadfield Rd is the nearest large bicycle shop to Nether Edge (walking distance) with a wide range of bikes.