Commuting Safely by Bike
My last post offered reasons to turn your commute into a cycle or run. This post is to highlight how to cycle to work safely on the London roads, or any roads for that matter! A main concern from my friends and family about cycling to work is safety. Having cycled to work for 8 years now, fear of cycling in London should not stop people commuting by bike. The cycle infrastructure has improved, and continues to improve significantly across our capital city.
I want to encourage as many people to cycle as well, it's my favorite part of the day, jumping on my bike and cycling to work feeling refreshed and ready for the day!
Highway Code for Cyclists - Remind yourself of the rules. Something we need to encourage all cyclists to be aware of.
Free Cycling Skills Course - Whether you're a first-time rider or a regular cyclist looking to improve your skills, TFL offer free tailored courses to suit your individual abilities and goals.
My Top Cycle Safely Tips
1 - Awareness - Be aware of all other vehicles around you. In front of you, behind and to your right. Pre empt other vehicles movements by cycling at a responsible and not fast speed.
2 - Positioning - Stay back from large vehicles (lorries, HGV, busses). Don't try to squeeze in front of them by cycling on the inside. This is when you can go out of their view, and as they turn left leaving you little/no room. This is one of the biggest causes of fatalities on the bike. So stay back and don't undertake large vehicles.
3 - Cycle a wide birth from parked cars on the side of the road - Don't tuck in making way for cars (polite but not safe). Give a wide birth to pre-empt drivers opening their door without looking out for you.
4 - Make eye contact with drivers - Always make eye contact with drivers. If you don't make eye contact then expect they haven't seen you and begin to slow. It's a simple and life saving habit to get into. Also make eye contact with pedestrians so they know not to cross (I've had pedestrians cross in front of me). Making eye contact have saved me many times from incoming traffic from roads on the left.
5 - Stop at red lights - All cyclists need to abide by the cycle highway code.
6 - Make yourself visible to all traffic - Whether this be bright coloured clothing, lights on your bike/helmet. Always position yourself on the road so you are completely visible.
7 - Plan your route before heading out - TFL offer routes along the cycle highways and routes across London. There will always be ways to avoid large busy roads and roundabouts.
8 - Wear a helmet, always.
9 - Always carry fully charged lights on the bike.