Cycling In Traffic
With the roads getting busier by the day it really can be daunting hitting the roads for the commute to work or going for a social ride, so I thought we would put together some tips on cycling on the busy roads.
1 Dont Undertake
The most dangerous manoeuvre is undertaking/cycling up the inside of the road when there are vehicles moving or queuing. Most drivers don’t check their left mirror if they have to turn left so would not see you if you are coming along side them. We so often hear stories where cyclists have tried to undertake lorries which have turned left and this has resulted an many fatalities.
2 Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
I regularly check my mirrors when I’m driving and keep an eye out for other road users. When I’m cycling I do not check as often as I do when driving but I do recommend having a few glances over your shoulder every now and again to make sure you are aware of what is around you.
3 Look Ahead
Keep an eye out for obstructions in the road ahead such as parked cars, potholes, drains and poor road surfaces because the quicker you spot them the more time you have to manoeuvre out of the way, letting other road users know what you are doing.
4 Don’t Hug The Kerb
I find it very frustrating when I see cyclists “hugging” the kerb because by doing this can put them out of drivers peripheral vision and more close/dangerous passes will occur. I recommend keeping a metre to metre and a half away from the kerb as this is advice I was given during cycling proficiency and also by the highway code. The reason for cycling that far away from the curb is that you are less likely to have to move out to avoid pot holes or drain covers and it encourages motorists to overtake correctly.
5 Keep Out Of The Door Zone
When you are passing parked cars try and leave a metre or so between you and the car just in case someone opens their car door into your path. I have not been “doored” yet but had plenty of close calls as some people do not look when they open their doors.
6 Use Your Lights
During the darker times lights are essential, they help you to see and to be seen. The last thing you want is to get hit by a motorist because they didn’t see you due to your lack of lights. I personally use a rear light no matter what the time of year or weather condition.
7 Hold Your Ground
Do not be bullied by motorists trying to force their way into your lane. I have to say that in my experience this does not happen regularly but I do get the odd motorist who thinks they can push me off the road. My advice is to hold your position without being arrogant or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
Picture thanks to Hasan Sahoglu