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See cyclist, think horse...

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Posted by Cags R under Cycling on 10 March 2014 at 12:00 PM

Cycling

The cycling season has arrived! If your bike has been safely tucked away in the garage for the last copy of months then it's time to grease that chain and get back on the roads.

Road cycling is rapidly growing in popularity, it's no longer simply an exciting spectator sport around France, thousands of new riders are taking to the road each year. So far in 2014, we've already challenged you to Cycle 300km in a month, but now the weather's a little nicer, we want to see Tribesports members out on their bikes in FORCE!

If you're on the fence about whether road cycling is for you, or even if you're a little apprehensive about sharing the road with traffic, this video from Safer Scotland cycling campaign is awesome:

Many people are wary of cycling on busier roads because of safety worries, if all drivers followed the See Cyclist, Think Horse way of thinking, perhaps even more cyclists would feel confident taking to the road!

Until then, here are our simple tips for safer cycling:

  • Although many cycle lanes are positioned along the curb, don't feel obliged to ride in the gutter.

  • If there is still space for traffic to pass you, try and ride around 50cm - 1m from the curb to allow you room to ride without having to worry about drains and pot holes.

  • If the condition of the road is bad closer to the curb, it is better to ride further out so you will not make unpredictable swerves to avoid pot holes/road debris.

  • If there is a large vehicle ahead, keep your distance behind it - not only will there be nasty exhaust fumes, but also longer vehicles hide road hazards such as pot holes and drain covers.

Safe road positioning when approaching junctions:

  • When approaching a T junction in the road, make your intentions clear well in advance.

  • Check over your shoulder and signal to let motorists and other cyclists know your intentions.

  • Move over into the middle/right of the road after signalling to turn right (based on left-hand drive roads).

  • Stay to the left of the road if turning left and signal on approach to the junction.

  • There may be a cycle path leading up to the junction or lights, if possible make your way to the front of the traffic in this scenario.

  • Make yourself big, bright and visible to stay safe - lights, high vis clothing and strong road position will make you easier to be seen by motorists.

  • Avoid going along the left hand side of vehicles when approaching a junction - you may put yourself into a driver's blind spot. This is particularly true of lorries and other high vehicles - many cycle collisions occur this way.

  • Make sure you sit at least 2-3m ahead of a lorry or truck - the high cabs give them blind spots directly in front of them.

Safe road position when passing junctions:

  • Motorists at T junctions have a habit of 'nudging out' to check for traffic, when approaching a junction check over your shoulder and move out to cycle more centrally on the road to make sure you're seen and then they don't 'nudge' you off your bike!

  • Check around you that motorists aren't signalling to turn off the road into the junction - make sure you make eye contact so they wait before you've passed them to turn.

Other safety tips on the road

  • Ride ascertively, not aggressively. There is a difference between holding your ground and aggression - remember safety should take priority over your road pride.

  • When in doubt, waiting in traffic is the safer option - if the lights ahead are changing and you don't have a clear path to the front of the queue, then it won't hurt you to stop and wait.

  • If you think you are in danger of a collision, brake! 

To get you started, take the Challenge to Cycle to and from work 3 out of 5 days in a week!

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