UK Roads are busy with lots of traffic and can be dangerous or scary for cyclists. It’s essential to have some simple skills and strategies in place to keep yourself safe, reduce the risk and to help keep your cycling fun. Here are some 6 simple tips that might help.
- Be able to look behind you over your shoulder without wobbling. This is so you can see what’s behind you.
- Eye Contact: Get eye contact with vehicles by looking behind. This is particularly important in busy traffic and at junctions. If you’re riding in a straight line and there’s a car behind you, getting eye contact lets the driver you’re aware of them. See and be seen.
- Don’t ride in the gutter as it’s not safe. Riding about 1.5metres away from the curb means that you avoid pot holes and drain covers. But more importantly it makes you more visible and means that drivers have to make a decision to overtake you properly and give you more space.
- Use Road Positions for defensive cycling. Sometimes it’s not safe for a car to overtake a cyclist for example at junction or when the road is narrowed by parked cars or traffic islands. In these situations we can use defensive cycling skills by getting into the primary road position. This is in the middle of your lane and can be a great way to ask drivers to wait behind you and give you space.
- Plan an alternative route avoiding traffic and busy roads
- Switch off your autopilot and switch on your situational awareness. Experienced cyclists are often on auto pilot possibly chasing a Strava segment, a number on the power metre or just thinking about anything other than what’s on the road. Use your situational awareness.
We teach skills to novice and new cyclists as well as experienced racers and commuters. So whatever your level get in touch to find out how you could benefit from a short coaching session on the road. It might help to keep you safe.