Lewisham Cycle Buddies

Two women cycle side by side along a quiet street

If you want build your experience and confidence cycling on London’s roads, we can pair you with a more experienced cyclist from your local area.

A Cycle Buddy can help you:

  • find quiet local streets, where you can practice and build confidence
  • find and try out new routes to work or your local shops
  • feel safer and more comfortable cycling in traffic
  • find a safe route for your child to cycle to school

Lewisham Cyclists will put you in touch with your buddy, so you can meet up and ride together. Your buddy will take charge of the route, so you can relax and enjoy the ride. They will plan around what you’re comfortable with, so you feel safe and supported throughout.

Get paired with a Cycle Buddy

To request a Cycle Buddy, please fill out the Lewisham Cycle Buddies online form.

To take part in the Cycle Buddies scheme you need to cycle at the equivalent of Bikeability Level 2. This means you should be able to:

  • cycle on minor roads with moderate traffic
  • understand signals, signs and road markings
  • turn at simple junctions

If you need support to build your skills to this level you can get training from Lewisham Cyclists or Lewisham Council.

Cycle Buddy stories

Lewisham Cyclists has been running a buddy scheme for many years. We have received lots of positive feedback about people’s experiences:

“I didn’t know about Quietway 1 until our ride – it was a revelation. One of the best aspects was the one-to-one nature of the ride. It was so much better than being in a group, as I felt we could stop at any point if there was a situation I wasn’t comfortable with.”

Mary

“Before cycling with my buddy Brian, I was incredibly nervous on the roads. He gave me tips on road positioning, surfaces and manoeuvring in traffic. He pointed out landmarks that would help me find the route from Lewisham to central London again. I feel more confident, knowledgeable and safer on the roads.”

Jamie

“I didn’t feel brave enough to start cycling in London, but the turning point was riding with a buddy. We cycled from Greenwich to Vauxhall and back on a Sunday afternoon. It really changed my life in terms of how I move around London. I got my husband into cycling and we often cycle into central London instead of taking public transport.”

Anke

Volunteer to be a Cycle Buddy

Would you like to help another rider experience the joy and freedom of getting about by bike?

Experienced cyclists can volunteer to become a Cycle Buddy, and help a new or returning cyclist build confidence and get comfortable with new routes.

To volunteer, please fill out the Lewisham Cycle Buddies online form.

You need to be a confident and experienced cyclist, cycling at the equivalent of Bikeability Level 3. This means you should be able to:

  • plan journeys
  • cycle on busy, multi-lane roads with speed limits above 30 mph
  • pass queuing traffic and use junctions controlled by traffic lights