With summer approaching and more people tempted to take to the roads on their bikes, it’s important to stay safe in our city where bicycle road deaths are still worryingly prevalent. We want to encourage everyone to get on their bikes, but it’s essential that all cyclists, both new and experienced, play safe and try not to exacerbate the tensions already apparent between cyclists and the motorists with whom they share the roads. Reckless cycling gives us all a bad rep and makes many drivers less inclined to take that extra bit of care around bikesSo, for a better London cycling environment for all, here’s our advice on how to stay safe and keep the roads bike friendly.
Protect your noggin.
First and foremost protect yourself. Cycling without a helmet is temping fate to the tallest degree and is never ever worth it.
Learn the traffic rules
Just because you’re on a bike does not make you exempt from following the rules of the road. Sticking to the rules makes you less of an annoyance and hazard to other vehicles and it will help you to predict what other road users are doing too.
Don’t be in a rush
Better late than never is a very apt phrase in this situation. Rushing when on a bike, whether it be running a red light or going that extra bit faster down that last bit of hill on the home run, makes you all the more likely to miss a hazard or collide with a fellow road user. Make sure you travel at a speed that allows you the time to react to whatever might come in your way.
Use your bell
Your bell is a great tool for warning unassuming pedestrians inadvertently crossing your path or even for motorists who are taking liberties with the road space. Don’t be afraid to ring your bell if it’s necessary to avoid accidents.
Don’t get too close to the kerb
To be safe you should always be 50cm from the kerb, don’t let any greedy motor vehicles hog your space. Hold your ground and cycle with confidence. It will make you more visible and force drivers to overtake you in the proper way.
Whether it’s wearing brightly coloured clothes, a brighter than white helmet or the full fluoro kit, make sure you’re as visible as possible to other road users. Even in broad daylight the brighter you bike the better. And it goes without saying never to leave the house without your bike lights.
Stay out of blindspots
One of the most common reasons for serious bike accidents is passing large vehicles on the left hand side at junctions. If the vehicle turns left they can’t see you and you’ve got no chance of getting out of the way once you and they are moving. It’s not worth the risk!
Positive and deliberate movements on the road ensure other road users know what you are doing and that no unpredicted mishaps occur.
Happy and safe cycling everyone!