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If there is one sport that we British are really good at its cycling. We’ve seen success in all disciplines, from the track and trail to The Tour de France. With Athletes like Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Emily Nelson and Dame Sarah Storey, The British female cycling team has enjoyed unparalleled medal success in world championships, Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. In March 2013, British Cycling announced an ambition to get one million more women on bikes by 2020. Since then, over 800,000 more women have been encouraged to take up cycling; however, in the UK, two-thirds of frequent cyclists are men (compared to Denmark, where male cyclists account for 47% and female cyclists 53%).

British cycling is determined to narrow this gender gap and inspire even more women to be regular riders.

The tragic death of Sarah Everard in March of 2021 leads to the question, “What can women do to stay safe while cycling?” We spoke with Tiina Varvikko, who works with us at Electric Bike Sales:

What do you love about cycling?

I love the wind on my face. That is the first thing that comes to my mind.

I haven’t cycled for a while since my back has been bad. However, I went for a ride yesterday, so thank you! I loved it! I like the speed, change in scenery and the movement. It is a nice way to exercise outdoors. I used to cycle to the office, I like it as a commute vehicle rather than a bus. It is often faster than a bus to cycle a-b when the distance is less than half an hour by bike.

What precautions can female riders take?

They should ensure that the bike is serviced and in good working condition, especially when cycling at late hours. Having bicycle lights integrated are the best, but they need to be thief-proof. I have lost numerous lights when I left my bike parked in town evenings. I never leave my bike overnight outdoors.

When going for a cycle, you should have a phone in case of emergencies. It is better to stick to roads rather than off-road. I also like to vary my route, it makes it more difficult for someone to predict my schedule and stops me from getting bored.

There are some great mobile apps. However, I feel it takes my freedom away. I suppose it is something that we need to get used to these days. When I was a child, I never used a bike helmet, but now it is the norm. I feel something is missing, almost naked, vulnerable if I forget my helmet.

What should you do if someone is behaving suspiciously?

Not to look and cycle faster is my first thought. The second is to make noise and find people to ask for help, never stop and to report the incident as soon as you get home so the police can investigate.

Common sense tips for safe cycling:

Carry some tools and a spare inner tube

  • If possible, avoid busy roads.
  • Use cycle lanes.
  • On the main road, avoid wobbling and ride assertively.
  • Obey lights and traffic signs, use the highway code, Give clear signals to motorists and other road users.
  • Choose routes appropriate to your ability, especially when going trail riding.
  • If you go for a solo ride, always try to leave a note of your intended journey (especially if going off-road).
  • Always ride with the traffic and never against it.
  • Behave like a vehicle. Cyclists switching back and forth between road and path is dangerous, unsafe for pedestrians, and confusing for drivers. If you need to use the path for any reason, dismount and walk your bike.
  • Carry identification.
  • Black may be flattering, but it could also be flattening if a motorist can’t see you.
  • During the day, wear bright colours and hi-vis reflective gear at night.
  • Anything that is moving is obvious and easily seen, so colourful socks, ankle reflectors – or reflective patches on shoes or pedals are perfect.
  • If possible, have a buddy. It’s always more fun to share the journey.


An essential and legal requirement when cycling at night. Avoid riding at night unless necessary and then try to stick to well-lit roads. Avoid dark cycle paths and off-road routes.

Other sensible precautions

  • Carry a well-charged mobile phone
  • A puncture repair kit and spare inner tubes (for longer rides).
  • A multi-tool.
  • Carry a lightweight waterproof top.
  • Money, in case you need to take a bus or taxi.
  • Water, especially for the long rides.

At Electric Bike Sales, we wish you all safe and fun biking.

Please feel free to contact Tiina and the team at Electric Bike Sale for friendly expert advice HERE