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Home » Cycle in the city: a guide to cycling safely
December 19th, 2019
Cycling is an excellent way to help reduce CO2 emissions, help the environment whilst also keeping fit. For those living in urban areas, it can also mean that the commute is quicker, however, it can also be very dangerous to cycle in the city.
The main danger that any cyclist cycling in the city will face is traffic. Whether it’s cars whizzing past leaving a hair’s breadth between you and their vehicle or you’re navigating the myriad of junctions that you’re likely to face in an urban environment, cycling in the city can be daunting.
Below we outline some of the ways you can stay as safe as possible whilst riding through urban areas.
Whilst the painted white bicycle on the road and the solid white line adjacent to it may look like an oasis for the urban cyclist, the reality is much different.
Whilst vehicles may be penalised for entering the cycle lane in some urban areas, it doesn’t always stop other road users straddling the cycle lane line on occasion. Often cyclists also have to share the lane with buses which in itself can cause a host of safety issues.
The key to remaining safe in the cycling lane is to ride as you would on any road that doesn’t have a cycle lane. This will allow you to not only remain safer in the cycle lane, but it’ll also improve your overall cycling ability.
Whilst it’s every cyclist’s dream to live in a world where they don’t have to pay attention to every little detail and every action other road users may or may not take, the reality is, cyclists have to make sure they are in full control of as many aspects of their ride as possible.
If you’re an inexperienced rider you may be tempted to stay as close to the curb as possible in a bid to avoid the flow of traffic coming from behind, however, the truth of the matter is, you should do the opposite.
The closer you are to the curb, the more dangers you are likely to face as we will expand on in another point below. When you’re cycling take a defensive position and assume a central position on the road.
Of course, if there is room to do so you can pull in slightly to let other vehicles pass you, but the key to staying safer whilst cycling in the city is to be seen, and staying centred on the road is a major aspect that can help you do just that.
For many cyclists who cycle in the city, they face the prospect of sharing their cycle lane with one of the biggest vehicles on the road, the bus.
Just like lorries, buses pose a significant risk to cyclists, as many of them have blind spots in their mirrors and if they begin to manoeuvre without spotting you, it can pose a very serious risk and could potentially result in a catastrophic injury.
When cycling in the city, always ensure you give yourself plenty of room and avoid approaching buses or any other large vehicles from the rear where they won’t be able to see you.
Every cyclist probably wishes every ride was an easy and leisurely experience when they cycle in the city, however, unfortunately, more often than not, this isn’t the case.
A key way to stay safe when you’re cycling in an urban environment is to prepare yourself for every eventuality. When you’re on the road, you should be scanning the road ahead for any potential hazards, cars changing lanes, buses entering the cycling lane, other cyclists not travelling at your speed, or even pedestrians crossing the road.
As we have already highlighted in this blog post, there is a multitude of hazards and dangers facing cyclists around every turn.
Staying switched on and anticipating potential dangers will help you considerably reduce the risk of suffering a cycling injury.
Being injured whilst cycling in the city can be a traumatic experience and can leave you with potentially life-changing consequences. Speaking to a specialist cycling accident solicitor such as a member of our team can help ensure you get the treatment and services you may need following your accident.
Our team always place our clients at the heart of the claim, securing the rehabilitative treatment clients may need following an injury as well as pursuing financial compensation.
Our team can also help secure bicycle repair costs and arrange for a bicycle engineer to inspect your bike and equipment if necessary.
To arrange your free initial consultation with a member of our team please call us today on 01625 506 672 or complete our online enquiry form by clicking here.
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