Top tips on riding safely
Published 29 July 2014
Cycling on the road needs concentration and confidence in equal parts. If you’re new to taking to the road, these tips will help you feel safer when you’re out and about.
‘Letting people know where you’re going makes it safer for us all’
– Sir Chris Hoy
The Highway Code is your friend!
Do get yourself a copy of The Highway Code – the official guide for all road users in Britain. It’s easy to read and lays out all the information about junctions and signalling, roundabouts, crossing the road and of course, road signs. It’s available online, or you can buy a copy in most bookshops and supermarkets.
There’s some great inexpensive kit around which is great for making you easy to spot on the road. Think bright colours or reflective. Remember lights are a must if you intend to ride at night (The Highway Code has all the info on lights and the law).
If you’re wearing a cycle helmet it should be a snug fit and positioned squarely on your head – sitting just above your eyebrows, not tilted back or tipped forwards. Fasten it securely, and check there’s enough room for two fingers between your chin and the strap.
Take your place on the road
Cyclists have as much right as drivers to take their place on the road. Don’t ride in the gutter – it leaves you no room for avoiding obstacles, nor anywhere to fall safely if you should have an accident.
Don’t be afraid to take up the entire lane if there’s a blind bend, a narrowing of the road, a high risk junction, pinch point or traffic lights ahead.
Drivers are your fellow road users and many ride bikes too!
Do make eye contact with drivers where you can, so you know they’ve seen you. Give clear signals so they know where you’re going. Acknowledging courtesy from other road users is always appreciated. And always remember to ride a car door’s width away from parked cars.
All cyclists can now benefit from Bikeability training which aims to make you more confident and safer when riding in traffic. The courses take place on quiet local roads, and cover all the basics you need.
Check out Take Care on Your Bike – some hints and tips for safe cycling.