A large number of the population refuse to commute via bike due to safety concerns, however, just as many people do it every single day without incident. As long as you follow basic safety skills on the road and know how to travel with traffic, you will always arrive safe and sound. We have a complete guide to e-scooter safety.
Our goal with this post is to ensure that you fully understand all of the basics when riding your new bike with traffic and understanding how to avoid issues before they become dangerous and how to choose the best kit.
Tips To Be The Safest Cyclist On The Road
Learn How To Anticipate Problems
When riding on the road it is best to get into the habit of expecting the worst. Your overall reaction time is going to equate to a distance of 6m at 15mph and up to 10m at 25mph, you must also consider that you need to consider turning and stopping time as well.
In order to lower your reaction time, it is best to always have one or two fingers on the brake while traveling through busy streets and while descending a hill.
Always Watch Your Surroundings
This is going to be one of the key components of riding with traffic, however, you never want to be just looking ahead, you need to focus on all aspects of the road.
This includes watching the actual roadway for debris and obstructions as well as sideroads, parked cars, as well as pedestrians. By effectively observing your surroundings, you can always plan ahead.
By taking the time to look over your shoulder for that blind spot, has been known as the ultimate lifesaver For a much better look at the road behind you, it is imperative to take your right hand off of the handlebar, sit straight up and look backwards.
You must not just rely on your hearing when preparing to change road positions, there are some newer “eco” models that are just about silent.
Choose Your Best Road Position
You must always find the best road position for the ultimate in safety on your bike.
Choosing the best position is all about being able to be seen and have the ability to make quick decisions to prevent being put at risk.
The best riding position is going to be in the middle of the left-hand lane and can be used to emphasise your main riding position to any drivers that are behind you and ensure they do not overtake you in a dangerous area.
When you are in a safe position, it is advisable to move into a secondary position, generally about 1m to the left of the moving traffic lane. It is important that you never ride in the gutter area, where car doors are suddenly opened, or close to heavy operation vehicles.
Share The Road With Other Users
Remember that the Highway Code applies to all road users in the United Kingdom, this is a series of rules and regulations that are designed to keep everyone safe while on the road.
Regardless of this, there are a number of consistent non-verbal communications that are shared between road users, such as signals. Always remember that all road users are making judgements about what your overall intentions on the road are.
In order to obtain the best cycling advantage, you need to heavily influence the actions of others on the road. Basis road positions, such as moving towards the centre of the road when preparing to turn right and even something as simple as eye contact are all essential forms of non-verbal communication while riding on the road.
Improve Your Riding Skills
Be sure that your basic riding skills such as braking, turning and indicating are at the top of your game.
You want to ensure that all of your attention is placed on the road and what is happening on the road as opposed to what is going on with your bike.
The basic skills such as looking over your shoulder, steering, braking, indicating, not swerving, and being generally confident need to be second nature skills to you.
However, you must be able to ride in a predictable manner that other traffic knows exactly what your intentions are.
Choosing The Best Kit
Bike and kit choices are on the main ways in which you can be a safer and better rider in urban areas. Choosing double-sided pedals are best for re-entry in stop and start traffic and typically better suited than single-sided race pedals when you are just beginning. However, if you are not that flexible, it would not be a good idea to choose a riding position in which you are unable to look up or behind you.
Additionally, you will always need to consider your overall visibility when deciding upon a bike, this is especially true when having to commute in the twilight. By following these simple tips you will always have the confidence to bike in traffic.