Ten ways to help stay safe cycling
Ten ways to help stay safe cycling
News   /   Miscellaneous

After Damascus streets became heavily crowded , causing workers and universities' students to lost their time and temper , many of them started using bicycle as a new transportation  mean to reach their destination , saving time and costs .

As a result , an on-line campaign was initiated by a bunch of new Syrian youth , that think in an innovative smart way , refusing the old taboos about girls cycling around the crowded city .   

This camping caused a fuss , making many people to think out of the box.  But since it's still a new trend , many fear cycling and its dangerous techniques .  

Of course it can be safer, and it must be. And it is no insult to those who fear go  cycling and ride as safely as possible while the campaign continues for roads to become safer. This applies particularly to new cyclists and/or cyclists who do not drive (an understanding of how traffic works is useful for any cyclist, I believe).

These, for what they’re worth, are my tips:

1 Avoid lorries

Never wait between the kerb and a lorry at a junction. If it turns left, the driver may not see you. Stay well behind or, preferably, in front, where you can be seen.

2 Don’t kerb-crawl

The kerb is not your friend. Keep a line towards the middle of the lane so that drivers have to steer around you. Hugging the pavement only invites them to scrape past.

3 Show your face

Eyeballing drivers at junctions helps them to view you as a fellow road user they would rather not run over. Do the same to vehicles on your tail. Smiling helps, too.

4 Use your neck

Learn how to look over your shoulder without wobbling and do so regularly – and always before making a manoeuvre, when you should also stick out an arm.

5 Obey the code

It can be safer, say, to jump a red light than wait in the shadow of a lorry but egregious violation of the Highway Code can damage you – and the image of cyclists.

6 Overtake buses

If you’re approaching a bus at a stop, look over your shoulder, eyeball drivers, and move to overtake. If you can’t, wait a good distance behind the bus. Never undertake.

7 Be bright

It’s more important to show your face and position yourself well, but bright clothing, strong lights and reflectors, while rarely cool, will also help you get noticed.

8 Wear a helmet

You may look like a dork and it’s totally your choice but, on balance, you’re better off with a helmet. Just don’t think it will protect anything else – or do anything to resist a 40-tonne truck.

9 Don’t get cross

Sure, drivers can be infuriating but banging on windows or cursing across junctions will only reinforce the view held by a dangerous minority that cyclists are enemies.

10 Plan your route

It stands to reason that you’re probably more vulnerable in three lanes of traffic doing 40mph than on a residential side street, or on junctions known to be dangerous.

Bonus: Find a friend

If you’re a new or lapsed cyclist, venture out first with a more experienced friend. Keep a good distance behind and watch what he or she does. Then let them follow you and take their advice.

 

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