Oxford is relatively flat, so bicycles are the favourite form of transport. Many of the city centre streets are wholly or partly closed to motor vehicles, and the speed limit is 20 mph.
You can plan your cycling route using this interactive map. For general information about cycling in Oxford and the surrounding area, visit the Oxford City Council pages on cycling, or of local cycling advocacy group Cyclox. You can combine cycling with your regular commute using the Park and Pedal scheme if you live outside Oxford.
It is always best to be cautious when cycling around the city. Try to use dedicated cycle paths and lanes wherever possible. You are strongly advised to wear a helmet and high-visibility clothing.
You can hire a bike from cycle shops, or reserve and pay via an app on your smartphone. Here are some of the options available:
- Brompton folding bikes from BromptonDock's automatic self-serve bike locker at Oxford railway station
- Dockless systems, via the apps Donkey Republic and Pony Bikes
- An online peer-to-peer system, operated by Cycle.land, for hirers to rent from individual owners. Like AirBnB, but for cycles
Buying a bike
Oxford has numerous bike shops. Some offer discounts for University staff or take part in bike schemes.
You can find second-hand bikes for sale in Dailyinfo.
Unfortunately, bicycle theft is quite common in Oxford. Buy a lock and always lock your bicycle to an immoveable object! The University's Cycle Security pages offer tips on safety and security including discount offers on lights and locks.
The University provides a mobile repair scheme free of charge.
Many bicycle shops service and repair bikes for a fixed cost. The Broken Spoke Bike Co-op is a community social enterprise that offers DIY workshops and other cycling-related services such as road safety and women’s mechanics courses.
Disclaimer: Please note that the University does not endorse any of the external websites listed above, or elsewhere in this guidance
Cycling with children
Cycles and scooters are a popular choice for many children. Parents with very young children can use a child seat attached to the front or back of their bike. Child seats are available from most bike shops. Parents with older children can ride tandem bikes, or use bicycles with trailers.
Cycling and the law
Cycling on pavements and pedestrian-only areas is prohibited (although scooting is allowed). Look for signs and road markings that indicate where you are allowed to cycle.
You are required by law to use a white front light and a red rear light when cycling in the dark. Cycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and you are likely to be prosecuted if caught.