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For cyclists, the simple fact is that navigating your surroundings effectively when on a ride is vital to remaining safe. It is your responsibility to take steps to preserve your safety and protect yourself from the hazards that can be encountered whilst cycling. We have put together some tips to help you in this regard.
Safety Tips for Individuals, On-road Cycling
Here are our top tips for commuting cyclists. Although they are intended to aid newer cyclists, who might take to the roads enthusiastically, but are unaware of the hazards they may face from others, we hope more experienced cyclists find this a helpful exercise in jogging the memory for best practice on the road.
- Plan every movement on the road based on what you can see, what you can’t and what might happen in any given circumstance i.e account for every possibility.
- Look ahead and anticipate other road users’ actions.
- If you can keep up with the flow of traffic, position yourself prominently in the centre of the lane, or when it would not be safe for you to be passed by another road user - such as a narrow stretch of road.
- When you need to change your position on the road, do this gradually and after having made the necessary preparations.
- Look behind and signal your intentions in plenty of time, so other road users are aware of your intentions.
- Never ride up the inside of a long vehicle, especially near a road junction.
- It is usually safer to pass stationary traffic on the right, but watch out for oncoming vehicles.
- On country lanes, use your ears as well as your eyes to detect traffic
Group Riding - A Different Kettle of Fish
As any experienced cyclist will tell you, cycling in a group is a completely different proposition to cycling on your own. Our tips for group cycling are intended to help those cyclists newer to the activity, whilst ensuring both your safety and that of your fellow cyclists.
- Do not change your speed or your direction without warning people behind you in good time.
- Be aware of other cyclists that are around you. Look before you make any manoeuvre.
- Learn the calls and signals for communicating within a group, and use them.
- Don’t ride close to another cyclist unless you have the skills to do so.
- Never ride more than two abreast on the road and only do that when the road conditions allow it.
- Take your turn at the front!
Remember, cyclists are entitled to take as much road space as they need to cycle safely. A bicycle is a legitimate road vehicle with the same rights and responsibilities as a car, van or lorry. Do not allow other road users to pressurise you into giving up space if you feel you need it.