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Road riding tips and safety

A lot of people don’t cycle because they are worried about safety, or are just unsure of how they should ride a bike on a road, as opposed to driving a car. Cycle training is a great way of improving your riding.

Make sure you read the most recent version of the highway code. You can find more tips and techniques from British Cycling, but the most important rules are:

Be seen

Cycle at a steady pace about one metre away from the kerb, so that you can anticipate and respond to road situations easily. Riding too close to the kerb or parked cars puts you at risk, and encourages drivers to squeeze by. If you need to turn right or if the road is too narrow for vehicles to safely overtake you, position yourself in the middle of the lane, directly in front of traffic. Make eye contact with other road users at junctions and crossings to make sure that they’ve seen you.

Be bright at night

Remember your lights at night. If you cycle every day, it’s a good idea to carry a spare set of lights or batteries. You must show a white light to the front and a red light to the rear. The bike must be fitted with a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors (if manufactured after 1st October, 1985). Hi-Vis clothing, bag covers and bike stickers can make you more visible.

Take care around lorries and buses

If you can’t see the driver of a lorry or bus, they probably can’t see you. Never ride down the inside of vehicles signalling or slowing down to turn left.

Be considerate

Give pedestrians priority at all times. Some may be partially sighted or deaf and may not be aware of your presence. Don’t be afraid to use a bell, or your voice to let other people know you are around.

Consider wearing a helmet

Make sure it fits properly. Children should always wear a helmet as they are more susceptible to head injuries and more likely to fall off their bikes.

Don’t cycle through red lights or on the pavement

It’s illegal and it gives cyclists a bad name. You can walk with your bike on the pavement if you need to take a short-cut. Only very small children are allowed to cycle on the pavement.

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