Cyclists – Tips to Consider When Using the Roads with Motorists and Road Users

1st September 2014

There are often heated debates quickly flared up between bicycle riders and car drivers from situations that could have been avoided, had a silly error not occurred.

Either party can be to blame (stop pointing those fingers at each other), so how can both parties work to find harmony on the roads of the UK?

Bike Bus has come up with some tips for cyclists to consider (next week is the turn of the engine-powered vehicles…):

1. Be Safe and Legal

There isn’t ever going to be a bigger rule than know the Highway Code and the rights of yourself and others! Some of the most obvious requirements in the Highway Code are just common sense –

  • Don’t jump red lights, don’t cycle on paths unless they’re a designated cycle path
  • Watch your speed in wet weather, it’s just NOT worth it!
  • Ride with a decisive – not aggressive – attitude and be positive about every situation and choice you make (not negative)
  • Wear a helmet, keep your bike roadworthy

2. Be Constantly Aware

That is, don’t always assume things, just because that’s “probably” what will happen. The fact of the matter is that cyclists will come off worse in a tussle with a vehicle, so be on your guard.

3. Be Seen!

The best chance of not being involved in a road collision (after knowing your Highway Code and safety stuff) is to make sure people know you’re around! Always:

  • Ride in a clear position, not hanging behind vehicles in the “blind spot”
  • Use lights when dim lighting / darkness may be apparent and consider reflective clothing
  • Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with drivers so you both know you’re aware of each other’s presence and signal clearly EVERY TIME
  • Use your bell – pedestrians may not be looking out for you (just as much as vehicles)
  • Cycling as a group – be aware that although it is advisable two ride two abreast, you should only do so when not on narrow or busy roads, you should never bunch up but maintain a pace within the group that avoids causing danger.

If you have any top tips for cyclists / motorists when on the roads together, feel free to share at @UKBikeBus!

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