Let's face it, cycling on busy city streets can be a daunting prospect, especially if you haven't been on a bike for a while.
The following tips for cycling in traffic should ensure you have a safer ride:
- Be observant. Use all of your senses. Your eyes and ears will guide you to safety. If you're like many others who like listening to music whilst cycling have a read up on whether Should Cycling with Headphones be Banned to get an idea of how it will affect your safety on the road.
- Know the rules of the road. Practice signalling whilst cycling with one hand as you will be far steadier when it comes to signalling in traffic. Read up on the Highway Code for more information.
- Plan your route. Start cycling on quieter, familiar roads. Plan and test your route to work when it is quiet. Knowing where you are going leaves your full attention to the traffic around you.
- Cycle with a friend. Before tackling busy roads and junctions, go for a ride with a confident cyclist, follow them in single file and let them guide you.
- Wear bright clothing. There's nothing worse than not being visible in heavy traffic. You can find yourself a good high viz helmet and some bright accessories ideal for remaining seen.
- Use the cycle lanes. Where possible cycle in the lanes provided.
- Position yourself away from the curb. Keep around 3 feet away from the curb. This will allow vehicles to see where you are.
- Pull over if you need to. If you're feeling uneasy about a vehicle coming from behind, whether it's trying to overtake you or not, signal and pull over at a safe place.
- Remember you have as much right to be on the road. Do not let vehicles pressure you on the roads. Be prepared for impatient drivers, just take a deep breath, ensure you are cycling safely and ignore.