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Staying Safe

manx_catmanx_cat Posts: 52
edited January 2017 in Road beginners
Hi,

I am thinking about getting a Job as a cycle courier, but I have only ever ridden on the road on quiet suburban roads, I would have to be riding in city centre traffic in order to do this job.

Just wondered if anyone has any advice as to staying safe as a cyclist in city centre traffic?

I think id really like the job, but the safety is putting me off.

Say of example I have to turn off into a side road on the right, and I have vehicles behind me, I am not sure how I could so that safely unless I occupy the centre of the road.

Thanks

Posts

  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    manx_cat wrote:
    Hi,

    I am thinking about getting a Job as a cycle courier, but I have only ever ridden on the road on quiet suburban roads, I would have to be riding in city centre traffic in order to do this job.

    Just wondered if anyone has any advice as to staying safe as a cyclist in city centre traffic?

    I think id really like the job, but the safety is putting me off.

    Say of example I have to turn off into a side road on the right, and I have vehicles behind me, I am not sure how I could so that safely unless I occupy the centre of the road.

    Thanks

    I ride through a city as part of my commute, and you have already answered one of your questions yourself. You stay safe by occupying the road, not creeping along in the gutter. If you don't think it's safe for whoever is behind you to come past, then ride in the centre of your lane. Be assertive, but not confrontational.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,029
    Good luck.. get well insured ... thats one heavy duty risk prone job you are about to embark on.
  • hsiaolchsiaolc Posts: 492
    manx_cat wrote:
    Hi,

    I am thinking about getting a Job as a cycle courier, but I have only ever ridden on the road on quiet suburban roads, I would have to be riding in city centre traffic in order to do this job.

    Just wondered if anyone has any advice as to staying safe as a cyclist in city centre traffic?

    I think id really like the job, but the safety is putting me off.

    Say of example I have to turn off into a side road on the right, and I have vehicles behind me, I am not sure how I could so that safely unless I occupy the centre of the road.

    Thanks

    With regards to your example: You will need to be very aware of all cars and traffic. If you are turning right then you will need to start indicating before the turn and slowly go to center and then go more towards to right of the center to get ready for right. As you are going towards the center at angle then it is best to quick glance to your right to make sure no motorbikes is trying to over take you if they are then let them go by slowing down or block them.

    Don't be scared. Riding in central London is actually safer than country roads because cars can't go very fast.

    Just be careful of HGVs and take extra precaution against them. Don't assume they can see you. Stay well clear. But be very vigilant and don't ride with earphones on.

    You will gain experience and confidence as you go around and soon you will find cycling in central london safer than other places mostly also because the drivers here are used to cyclists so they look out for them more as well.
  • Thanks for your tips, but I am still unsure, as I can see myself ending up worse than dead since Im so inexperienced.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    TBH I don't think city centre cycle courier is an ideal job for an inexperienced cyclist.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,725
    Manx cat, Google bike courier films and clips to give you idea of what to expect in the extreme,loads of stuff on YouTube as well. I have to agree with cooldad as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cooldad wrote:
    TBH I don't think city centre cycle courier is an ideal job for an inexperienced cyclist.

    This. You need to be able to predict what people are likely to do just by looking at them and how they are driving/riding/walking etc. The fact that you have to ask what to do when turning right would indicate that you don't really have the experience.

    If you really want to do this kind of thing then go out and start riding in the city. Learn how traffic moves, how you anticipate it, what to do when things go wrong and where you should be on the road.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    I have found cycling faster helps ..... if you can do the same speed as the traffic, then changing lanes, keeping a primary road position, passing parked cars all becomes a lot easier as you don't feel you are holding traffic up , you are with the flow of the traffic, you don't need to find gaps as you are now taking up a space that traffic behind you doesn't feel the need to occupy

    it also helps with your fitness
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    Why don't you do some city centre pedalling at quieter times, see how you get on and build up your experience.

    Don't forget there is risk in most things we do, and you can't choose to when you live or die.

    I sometimes have this dilema when commuting to work. I rationalise it, with good clothing, good lights, - there is a risk, but I have done everything possible to minimise that risk.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I don't think this job is for you. Not yet.
  • kingrollo wrote:
    Why don't you do some city centre pedalling at quieter times, see how you get on and build up your experience.

    Don't forget there is risk in most things we do, and you can't choose to when you live or die.

    I sometimes have this dilema when commuting to work. I rationalise it, with good clothing, good lights, - there is a risk, but I have done everything possible to minimise that risk.

    Sure, I know we can't choose, but its ending up worse than dead that bothers me.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    manx_cat wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    Why don't you do some city centre pedalling at quieter times, see how you get on and build up your experience.

    Don't forget there is risk in most things we do, and you can't choose to when you live or die.

    I sometimes have this dilema when commuting to work. I rationalise it, with good clothing, good lights, - there is a risk, but I have done everything possible to minimise that risk.

    Sure, I know we can't choose, but its ending up worse than dead that bothers me.

    What's your motivation to choose this job?

    Money?

    A job that is outdoors and keeps you fit?
  • SheffSimon wrote:
    manx_cat wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    Why don't you do some city centre pedalling at quieter times, see how you get on and build up your experience.

    Don't forget there is risk in most things we do, and you can't choose to when you live or die.

    I sometimes have this dilema when commuting to work. I rationalise it, with good clothing, good lights, - there is a risk, but I have done everything possible to minimise that risk.

    Sure, I know we can't choose, but its ending up worse than dead that bothers me.

    What's your motivation to choose this job?

    Money?

    A job that is outdoors and keeps you fit?

    Well yes an outdoors job that keeps me fit is one of the main things, also looks like it won't have the downsides of being in an office surrounded morons that I don't like whilst having to make an effort to be civil with them.
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    Get mirrors for the bike and do wear a helmet.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • FishFish wrote:
    Get mirrors for the bike and do wear a helmet.

    Or don't do either of these things and learn to ride and look around properly.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,424
    manx_cat wrote:
    SheffSimon wrote:
    manx_cat wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    Why don't you do some city centre pedalling at quieter times, see how you get on and build up your experience.

    Don't forget there is risk in most things we do, and you can't choose to when you live or die.

    I sometimes have this dilema when commuting to work. I rationalise it, with good clothing, good lights, - there is a risk, but I have done everything possible to minimise that risk.

    Sure, I know we can't choose, but its ending up worse than dead that bothers me.

    What's your motivation to choose this job?

    Money?

    A job that is outdoors and keeps you fit?

    Well yes an outdoors job that keeps me fit is one of the main things, also looks like it won't have the downsides of being in an office surrounded morons that I don't like whilst having to make an effort to be civil with them.

    Plenty of morons on the roads too...
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,420
    Fenix wrote:
    I don't think this job is for you.
    ^^This
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    Weigh up the pro's and cons...

    you seem to really want to do it - but are a little nervous - sure there is a risk, but are you not going to ride a bike at all ? - how elevated is the risk in the city centre, how many serious accidents are there involving cyclists on the streets you will be pedalling ?

    I think you need to do some city centre riding - you will then think 'actually this isn't so bad' - or 'no this isn't for me'
  • manx_cat wrote:
    Well yes an outdoors job that keeps me fit is one of the main things, also looks like it won't have the downsides of being in an office surrounded morons that I don't like whilst having to make an effort to be civil with them.

    If you don't want to be surrounded by morons who do stupid things while you generally have to be civil with them, then I'm not sure cycling in London all day is ideal.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    People are idiots. Get used to it. You're one too.

    This job is not for you and your reasoning is a bit off.

    Postman?
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    If you don't like being surrounded by morons what are you doing posting on here? ;)
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • hsiaolchsiaolc Posts: 492
    manx_cat wrote:
    Thanks for your tips, but I am still unsure, as I can see myself ending up worse than dead since Im so inexperienced.

    I understand your concern and fear, but trust me take the plunge. I was the same in your shoes.

    Although it is not part of my job but I commute in London for the past 5 years and I can't even now cycle during weekends and on country road because I fear I get run over. It is very funny huh? I only feel safe riding during rush hour when cars can't park on single yellow and they can't get on the bus lane.

    Do you drive? Driving a car helps because you can anticipate their move and have intuition what they might do or do next.

    But even if you don't drive you will soon pick those experiences up relatively quickly.
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