Here are a few basic things to get you started:
More safe cycling tips can be found on the Leisure page at www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk
Choose somewhere with a smooth, level tarmac path near facilities like a cafe and toilets. Many Redbridge parks have suitable cycle routes. Goodmayes, Seven Kings and Loxford parks also have short shared-use paths. Other places to go include:
This is a shared-use tarmac path by the lake. The route passes toilets and cafe.
Access from Cranbrook Road/junction with The Drive, Ilford, or Brisbane Road/ junction with Quebec Road, Ilford.
This is a shared-use tarmac path by the lake. Access is from either Ilford Lane (junction with Fanshawe Avenue) or South Park Drive (near Ashburton Avenue).
Cycling is allowed in the cemetery but access to be treated with respect. There is a cafe and toilets in the Gate-house, which also has maps of the routes. Parking is avaiable in nearby roads and no cars allowed in the cemetery on weekends . The cemetery is at Aldersbrook Road, junction with Forest Drive, E12.
Older children can learn to cycle at courses provide by Redbridge Council.
For children aged 10+, there are Cycle Proficiency Courses provided by Redbridge Road Safety - details are available from Jane Arthur at Redbridge (020 8708 firstname.lastname@example.org).Children aged 14+ can obtain free private tuition in safe, confident road cycling if they live, work or study in Redbridge. Details from 020 7582 3535/www.cycletraining.co.uk
There are specially- built cycle circuits at Loxford park and Goodmayes park.
Children who want to improve their cycling skills in safe off-road conditions can cycle on constructed shared-use off-road paths. More adventurous children with mountain bikes can try the wealth of unsurfaced paths on Epping Forest land and in the Country Park. (Beware - unsurfaced paths can be muddy in winter! Mudguards save a lot of washing!)
Other routes include:
1 mile off-road easy shared-use path circuit round the lake with free car parking , cafe and toilets. Access is from i) busy Forest Road or ii) off-road rough path from junction of Aldborough Road North/Painters Lane in Aldborough Hatch. Fairlop Waters is at Forest Road, Barkingside, 1GB 3JA.
This is a new shared-use path beside woods and lake and passing Claybury Hall. Access is via cycle access gates on i) Roding Lane North and ii) at Stalham Way, in new estate off Tomswood Hill.
This is a shared use path by the River Roding from Wanstead to Ray Park. There are assisted crossings across busy Chigwell Road and Woodford Avenue. The southern link from Wanstead to Newham is to be constructed in 2006-7. The Route can be extended to include Claybury Park.
Access is from i) cycle path on footway on north side of Eastern Avenue, just west of Redbridge Roundabout ii) Elmcroft Avenue, Wanstead, iii) Roding Lane South iv) Woodford Avenue, near Tesco's, and v) Chigwell Road, near Snakes Lane East junction.
A 1 mile surfaced path, 1 mile unsurfaced path and some of the forest paths are open to cyclists. Please note that cycling is permitted on some but not all paths in the Country Park. The northern half of the site is called Hainault Forest and cyclists have unrestricted use of all unsurfaced paths here and an off-road link can be followed from Hainault Forest to Havering Country Park.
The Country Park is on Romford Road, Hainault and access is via the local cycle network using a toucan crossing at the junction of Forest Road/Romford Road. Car parking for Hainault Forest is on Manor Road, Chigwell. The weekend charge for car parking in the Country Park is £1.50. Charges may be extended to weekdays.
Contact the Country Park Office on 0208 500 7353 for a leaflet and map of Country Park and Forest.
Cyclists can use the rough grassy tracks and bridle paths across and around Wanstead Flats. Routes can be extended to Wanstead, from Park Road E12 to shared use path beside lake and beside Wanstead Golf Course to Warren Road, Wanstead , E11. There is a Tea hut and toilets in Wanstead Park, near Northumberland Avenue gate and car parking, toilet and cafe at the City of London Cemetery Gatehouse, Aldersbrook Road. No cycling is allowed in Wanstead Park itself, inside the fenced area.
Many miles of unsurfaced forest paths, stretching from Whipps Cross Road ,E10, up via Woodford New Road to Woodford to Highams Park, Chingford, and beyond. Can be muddy! Car parking and cafe at Hollow Ponds, Whipps Cross Road.
What can you do to encourage pupils walking or cycling to your child's school?
Get together with other parents and organise:
To find out more about school travel plans, or the dates of Bike Week or Walk to School Week, contact Redbridge Travel Plan Co-ordinator Scott Wilding (020 8708 email@example.com).
In October 2003 the Government announced £50million in funding for School Travel Plans which could help provide cycle storage, waiting shelters for parents and lockers. More and more Redbridge Schools are involved in the Travel Plan process.
To learn more about Safe Routes to School look up www.saferoutestoschools.org.uk.