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Road Safety

EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
edited September 2009 in Road beginners
Hi all

Has anyone got any useful tips for cycling on the roads ? As a relative newbie I get a fair bit of advice from friends but was wondering if anyone on here had any more that would help make road cycling safer. Although not exhaustive here are a few that have already been suggested (please agree/disagree as you wish :) ).
    On country/winding roads, cycle in the middle of the road to improve visibility for cars approaching from behind (move over upon hearing cars approaching). Approach petrol station exits with caution (drivers are often not paying attention when leaving). On an A road, cut across a slip entering the road to reduce the time spent 'over' a junction. Keep a fair distance from the road side so that motorists have to make evasive manoevers (riding too close to the kerb makes drivers think they can squeeze through).

Any more would be greatly appreciated.


  • teulkteulk Posts: 557
    Get some eyes in the back of your head, never trust people in cars !
    Boardman Team 09 HT
    Orbea Aqua TTG CT 2010
    Specialized Secteur Elite 2011
  • lastwordslastwords Posts: 304
    On winding roads i will move away from side when aproaching corners where there is not enough space for a car to sensibly overtake me or when aproaching blind crests in the road etc, but on straight section or where i think it is safe for cars to pass i will ride a bit closer to the edge.

    I have only been riding a road bike for a couple of months (uasually ride MTB) but i have quickly learnt that on junctions and roundabouts to take my time and dont expect the cars to stop i think they expect you to be travelling a lot slower, Assume they havnt seen you.
  • skinsonskinson Posts: 362
    Treat everyone in a car as a complete blind nobber!!! That seems to work for me.
    Dave :wink:
  • skinson wrote:
    Treat everyone in a car as a complete blind nobber!!! That seems to work for me.
    Dave :wink:

    I apply the same rule, people seem to play the game see how close i can get to the cyclist without actually hitting them. not much fun to play the part of the cyclist in that game :P
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava
  • Learn the over the shoulder look without drifting - that is the biggest life saver. You will find yourself doing it quite often and if you start to drift it can end up worse than no look over the shoulder! Sometimes if down on the drops and really pulling you can even do it under the armpit. The key to this is practice!
  • Joe86Joe86 Posts: 180
    Be very careful at roundabouts, because people often don't stick to the correct lane, even when it has huge road markings. People also seem to indicate at the wrong stage, so they often indicate as if they are turning off, but in fact they are carrying on, and I have a few times came out because I was thinking they were turning off (as they should have been). Also, look out for people who will cut you up before a roundabout. I see a lot of impatient people overtake me with about 10m to go, and then they hold me up and take forever to come out!

    Yesterday I had some woman go in the wrong lane when it was marked as being for left turns only, and she carried on. I politely said "wrong lane" as she was coming into me and I had little room to manoveur so I thought I was going to get pushed out as she kept coming after I had mentioned the mistake of hers, her response was "censored off". I see this a lot, when people are wrong they don't keep quiet, they will give you some abuse like you have done something wrong. Something that seems common in all walks of life though. If I do something wrong on the bike, and we all know that at some point we will make a bad judgement, I just keep my head down and keep quiet if someone says something, or if it is safe to I will signal sorry to the driver.
  • skinsonskinson Posts: 362
    I find a cleated shoe into the side of the car usually does the trick!
  • Stone GliderStone Glider Posts: 1,227
    A copy of Cyclecraft by John Franklin should provide you with a sound basis for safe cycling. The advice is current best practice, the book is well laid out and straightforward to read.
    The older I get the faster I was
  • Barrie_GBarrie_G Posts: 479
    Be aware of cars overtaking cyclists approaching you on the other side of the road.

    Out for my usual Sunday afternoon bike ride today, had groups of riders travelling in the opposite direction to me, a pair of riders riding side by side with other cyclists behind them, a car comes down the road in the same direction as the cyclists and pulls out to overtake, it looks like it's going to be a bit tight so I slow down a little, at this time one of the following group decides to overtake the two cyclists riding side by side without checking behind first, forcing the car driver to swerve right over onto my side of the road, thankfully I had just seconds earlier decided it was going to be a little too close for comfort anyway and had stopped and pulled into the curb, if I hadn't I really don't think that I'd be here typing this.

    To the cyclist that was taking part in the GNBR today, next time think before overtaking, it might not be just your life that you put in jeopardy.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Learn to look over your Right shoulder regularly throughout a ride - obvious before Right turns/ moving into the centre of the road /moving out to avoid gutter debris etc etc etc, but also to get a feel for whats around you at all times. You can do it quickly by putting your chin on your right shoulder - with the eyes then flicked back, you can see right back to 180 deg (from front) in your peripheral vision. As a previous poster said, you can even do it looking under your armpit area - just practice.
  • WappygixerWappygixer Posts: 1,396
    Be carefull of roundabouts in the wet.
    Cars and lorries often spill fuel turning the orad into an ice rink.
    Always expect the worst of drivers.
    Think for everyone

    Ride safely
  • Thanks for the tips and the book advice guys :)

    The 'looking-over-the-shoulder-without-drifting' one is a tough one as it's something I'm not able to do every time (although in a car it's no probs). I guess this will come with practise/experience.

    In general I find drivers to be ok but have noticed that a large proportion of them do not know how to judge speed at all :shock: I'm not sure if any of you have noticed this too but so many cars start to overtake just as their front wheels are almost in touching distance. A complete waste of time as they're well past by the time they've given you any kind of safe distance :roll:

    Incidentally does anyone ever cross motorways on A roads ? I did something very stupid (retrospectively) at the weekend as I crossed over the M1 at junction 15 (Northampton). Never again as the traffic was a nightmare although the traffic lights were a Godsend. Think I'll be sticking to regular A roads next time.
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Be visible!

    I choose to wear brightly coloured cycle gear, although I draw the line at looking like a council worker. The brighter you are, the less chance you have of experiencing a SMIDSY moment.
    Cycling weakly
  • timb64timb64 Posts: 248
    teulk wrote:
    Get some eyes in the back of your head !
    Or a mirror :D
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Watch peoples wheels at junctions, tehy tend to forget to indicate, but you can tell the car is about to turn/move.

    At a junction going left, dont go up to the line, let the car go in frong so if he turns left but hasnt indicated, you wont be stuck inside of him.

    Be Defensive and alert. :wink:
  • plonkplonk Posts: 37
    Get a pair of glasses. I nearly came a cropper when a fly kamikazed straight into my iris. I was doing nearly 40 down a hill at the time and i only just managed to keep control of the bike.
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 582
    Escargot wrote:
    Thanks for the tips and the book advice guys :)

    The 'looking-over-the-shoulder-without-drifting' one is a tough one as it's something I'm not able to do every time (although in a car it's no probs). I guess this will come with practise/experience.

    Try letting go the bar with the same hand whose shoulder you're looking over. For some reason that seems to stop the bike drifting.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Never, ever go up the left hand side of a long vehicle (bus, lorry etc).
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Stay calm, and relaxed, however nightmarish the conditions/other drivers/ other cyclists are.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    never ride the gutter, at least two bike widths away from the edge of the road. always try not to react to stupid drivers and if in doubt stop.
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