Chester Cycle Buddies Scheme

Bike Buddies ImageAre you one of the many people who say they would like to cycle in and around Chester but are unsure about riding on your own, riding in traffic, where to park your bike, etc. etc?  Or maybe you’re back on a bike after some time and need a bit of a confidence boost?

Maybe you’re unsure about choosing routes to where you want to go – work, children’s schools, shops, city centre, leisure, friends, etc? If so, Chester Cycle Buddies can help. Please read the information below and click the link at the bottom of the page.

Or are you an experienced cyclist and may like to use your local knowledge and cycling experience to help others to cycle more around Chester? If so, become a Helper Buddy! Please read the information below and click the link at the bottom of the page.

What is the Chester Cycle Buddies Scheme?

Chester Cycle Buddies is a scheme run by the Chester Cycling Campaign, to match experienced volunteer cyclists who are Campaign members (Helper Buddies) with those who would like some support to help them cycle more in Chester (Cycle Buddies). Helper Buddies can help their Cycle Buddy with planning cycle-friendly routes to places they would like to go, ride with them to test out the routes and answer any queries.

Chester Cycle Buddies is for adults, so you need to be aged 18 or over.

This is an informal scheme. Helper Buddies are not cycle instructors, they are all volunteers and are just people who cycle already and want to help others experience the freedom and joy of getting around Chester by bike, trike, or other type of cycle.

You don’t have to be a member of Chester Cycling Campaign to receive help as a Cycle Buddy. But we obviously hope you will join once you’ve found your cycling mojo! We will let you know whether a Helper Buddy is available. If they are, they will contact you to discuss your needs and go from there. As you are strangers, neither Buddy is expected to reveal their home or work address.

We anticipate that about 3 to 6 rides/sessions will be about right for most people, but of course this may vary. When the Cycle Buddy feels more confident, the “buddying” stops and the Helper Buddy may move on to help another Cycle Buddy.

Cycle Buddies will need a roadworthy bike or cycle – either your own or borrowed. Unsure if yours is roadworthy? Get a free check by joining the Campaign! 

Whilst wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement, it is probably wise, so please wear one (and make sure that it fits you – we can help if you’re unsure) unless you really don’t want to. We will respect your views either way.

Please note Chester Cycle Buddies is for people who live in, or within cycling distance of, Chester.

Chester Cycle Buddies is completely free of charge. The Helper Buddies are happy to give their time, but please remember that they are volunteers.

We are continually developing and improving Chester Cycle Buddies, so we welcome your views about your experience of using the scheme. As Chester Cycle Buddies progresses, we may adapt it as we find out what works well and less well.

If people seeking help would like some formal cycle instruction before you use the Chester Cycle Buddies Scheme, then here are a couple of options:

  • Karen Barker is a local National Standards Cycling Instructor. Contact her on on Facebook, or phone her on 07899 050003.
  • Free courses are run by Cheshire West and Chester Council when funding is available, so it’s worth checking availability.

Just a heads-up about what a Chester Cycle Buddies is not about:

  • Long-distance cycling or cycle racing
  • Learning how to cycle, or any formal cycle training
  • An organised event. Both Buddies ride at their own risk, exercising their own judgement about keeping safe on the road, in the same way as anyone who cycles for transport. Chester Cycle Buddies is not covered by group insurance. We advise taking up Cycling UK membership, which provides third party insurance cover. You can get affiliate membership, which is cheaper, if you are a member of Chester Cycling Campaign! Read more about insurance using the links below.
  • Campaigning for better cycle infrastructure (please join our monthly meetings for that)
  • Matchmaking in a romantic sense!
  • Having counselling or therapy!

Note: The term “bike” used here should be taken to mean any type of cycle.

Find out more about how to get help from a cycle buddy or how to offer your time as a helper buddy by using the links below:

I’d like to become a Cycle Buddy and get support from a Helper Buddy

I’d like to become a Helper Buddy, to offer help to a Cycle Buddy (prospective Cycle Buddies are welcome to read this too)