Bikeability is the term we use for teaching safe cycling to children in schools. Its governed by the Department of Transport and follows a national standard. It’s also taught to adults and I’ve worked with people of all ages across Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
I’m an experienced cyclist. I cycled to school and university every day from age 11 and I commuted to work by bike for 5 years. I’ve enjoyed cycle touring holidays all over the world including Thailand, India and France. I’ve been racing triathlon for 13 years and I’ve also competed at Ironman Triathlon events in Europe and the States. So what could I possibly learn fro bikeability?
Even as an experienced cyclist, I still learned something from adult cycle training. As an instructor teaching children and adults on a regular basis it has made me more aware of traffic and how I ride helping to keep me safe.
These are the key things that I’ve learned from Adult Cycle Training.
- I avoid riding in the gutter and ride at least 1.5 metres from the curb consistently.
- It’s OK to ride in the middle of the lane in Primary Road Position when needed. This helps to encourage drivers not to overtake when the road is narrowed by parked cars or traffic islands.
- It’s OK to filter either on the left or the right of stationary traffic and long traffic jams. Just be aware of the risks associated with either option such and of course never undertake anything wider than a people carrier.
- Think and plan ahead for side roads, moving into primary position (middle of your lane) on approach and until passed the side road. After an accident I lost some of my confidence and passing side roads would consistently freak me out and I would often be shouting out loud in fright. Using Primary gives me a lot more space and has made me feel a lot calmer on the road.
- More Eye Contact. This is the thing that has made the most difference to how safe I feel and how much space I get on the road. Before my training I would often not bother to look behind at a car because I could hear it, so I knew there was someone behind me. However, the biggest reason to look behind is to get eye contact with a vehicle which will tell them you’re aware of their presence and may be doing your best to avoid holding them up. See and Be Seen.
- Manage your speed: Riding faster in traffic keeps you safer as you become part of the traffic and it makes it easier for vehicles to deal with you. In busy traffic manage your energy to use your speed when its most needed.
- Cycling is a skill that can be taught and learned. A lot of people take cycling for granted but it is a skill and both novices and experienced cyclists can learn something from some cycle coaching.
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.