Vintage cycling resources
RoSPA has a long history of providing advice and practical support to cyclists.
Perhaps its most famous cycling initiative is the Cycling Proficiency scheme, which by 1970 had trained more than two and a half million children.
In this section we dive into the RoSPA vaults and blow the dust off resources, posters and even films that helped to get safer cycling messages across to the public throughout the 20th century.
Obviously, times have changed and though some resources carry messages that are just as relevant today, others remain period pieces. To make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date safety advice, visit www.rospa.com/roadsafety/adviceandinformation/cycling/.
Cycling proficiency poster
Cycling education was a staple extra-curricular activity during the 1960s and 1970s. The badge of Cycling Proficiency was worn with pride!
Sound brakes poster
The popularity of cycling as a recreational leisure pursuit provided special challenges out on the road and far from home. The responsibility of cycle maintenance was promoted as characteristic of good citizenship.
September - December 1956 - Highway Code for Children booklet
This book from 1956 is aimed at children. It uses diagrams to show where cyclists should be positioned on the road.
September - December 1956 - Cycling Proficiency Certificate
When they passed the RoSPA Cycling Proficiency test, cyclists were rewarded with a bright certificate and badge. This is the 1956 version.
April - June 1956 - Check your brakes bookmark
This 1956 bookmark highlights how the smallest of habits can make a big impact. It would have reminded its reader to check their brakes before they headed out.
April - June 1956 - Questions for cyclists leaflet
These questions helped to identify some of the major causes for accidents in 1956. The majority of these are still relevant today.
July - September 1952 - Maintenance check pocket card
This pocket-sized 1952 maintenance book was handy for ensuring your bike was ready to go. Although the style of the bike is quite different, maintenance techniques are still very much the same. See our new maintenance video and checklist.
July - September 1952 - Courtesy on the road saves lives car sticker
This 1952 window sticker is a reminder that we should share the road, drivers and cyclists both being aware and considerate of the other. To find out more about our #sharetheroad campaign read our press release.
July - September 1952 - Cross road drill leaflet
Here is an example of a 1950s road drill for cyclists.
June - September 1958 - Safer cycling, happy cycling sticker
Bright and chirpy, this large sticker certainly sent out a message in 1958.
June - September 1958 - Bright cyclists bookmarks
These colourful bookmarks from 1958 give advice to both cyclists and drivers on cyclist safety #sharetheroad
April - September 1970 - Avoid the agony of an accident
A striking message from 1970 urging parents to ensure their children received cycling training. For information on children’s cycling training visit the Bikeability website
1975 - Riding along roads booklet
This 36-page leaflet from 1975 was a great way to learn about bicycles and cycling. It covered everything from maintenance tips to road signs and cycling laws.
December 1982 - Give cyclists a chance
This leaflet from 1982 provided tips for drivers on sharing the road with cyclists, a message that still resonates today.
1986 - Overtaking cyclists poster
This 1986 A3 poster showed how car users should be considerate of cyclists.
RoSPA has produced a wealth of safety films throughout its existence. But due to the advance of technology, many of them remain in film and video format. However, the British Film Institute (BFI) has digitised four of our cycling films from the Forties, Fifties and Eighties.