Enjoy cycling around Cardiff!
Hello! My name is Raphael, and I am a second-year medical student at Cardiff. I am from England, New Zealand and Japan (少しだけ日本語できますので、日本人の留学生がいたらどうぞ話しかけてください！). In my free time, I like to play music with my friends, play basketball, or ride my bicycle. My favourite places to go in Cardiff are: Roath Lake, Bute Park, Lidl, the Health Library, Metchy’s Café, and The Table Café.
I wonder if you have seen these blue bikes before? They are almost everywhere in Cardiff, so keep an eye out for them! They are called Nextbikes. They are a bicycle that you can borrow for a short period of time to travel around Cardiff. They are very useful as a student!
You can find the Nextbikes at Nextbike stations, like in the picture. There are probably some close to your accommodation and close to where you study. If you have the app on your phone, and a Nextbike account, you can go to a station and borrow a bike for free. You can then cycle to another station near to where you need to travel to, and you can park the bike at the station. It saves time, and it can be a fun way to travel around town! Many students use these to go to where they study, or to travel into the centre of town.
To borrow a Nextbike, you will need a Nextbike account. You can find the application on most app stores. Once you download it onto your phone, register an account using your university email address. Normally, people have to pay to have a Nextbike account, but Cardiff University students are allowed the first 30 minutes free each time they borrow a bike! 30 minutes is normally enough time to travel where you need to get to.
Once you have an account, you can go to a Nextbike station and scan the QR code on the back of the bike with your phone. The app will give a 4-digit code. You can use this to unlock the bicycle. Then, enjoy your ride! When you get to the station where you need to get to, return the bicycle by parking it in the station and putting the lock through the front wheel. Then, press the “end” button on the back. Well done! You have borrowed your first Nextbike.
Before you travel anywhere by bicycle, it may be useful to know some of the rules about cycling in the UK. The traffic moves forward on the left side of the road here. In the UK, all cyclists are expected to bike on the roads, and wear a helmet for safety. When you are cycling on the roads, please stay on the left, and indicate with your hands if you need to turn a corner. If you come to a roundabout, look right until no vehicles are coming before you cross. If at any point you’re not sure what to do, you are allowed to get off your bike and push it on the pavement!
The CU has contact with a friendly Christian man in the local Cardiff area, who buys bikes from international students who are leaving Cardiff, then fixes them and sells them to newly arriving international students. If you are thinking about buying a bicycle during your time here, please get in contact with me and I will happily pass on his details to you!
I hope that this helps you to use Nextbikes confidently and make the most of them during your time in Cardiff. Is there anything similar where you come from? While you are cycling here, keep an eye out for a cyclist on a black bike with a white tire, with “Martin” written on the bike… it’s probably me, enjoying riding my bicycle around Cardiff 😊
Some helpful links: