My last post offered reasons to turn your commute into a cycle or run. This time, I’ll highlight how to cycle to work safely on the London roads - or any roads for that matter!
The main concern from my friends and family about cycling to work is safety. Having cycled to work for 8 years now, fear of cycling in London should not stop people commuting by bike. The cycle infrastructure has improved and continues to improve significantly across the city.
I want to encourage as many people to cycle as well; it's my favourite part of the day, jumping on my bike and cycling to work feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Top Cycle Safety Tips
- Awareness - Be aware of all other vehicles around you - in front of you, behind you and to your right. Pre-empt other vehicles movements by cycling at a responsible speed.
- Positioning - Stay back from large vehicles (e.g. Lorries, HGV, buses). Don't try to squeeze in front of them by cycling on the inside. This is when you can go out of their view and if they turn left, this will leave you little to no room. This is one of the biggest causes of fatalities on the bike, so stay back and don't undertake large vehicles.
- Cycle a wide birth from parked cars on the side of the road - Don't tuck in making way for cars (polite, but not safe). Give a wide birth to pre-empt drivers opening their door without looking out for you. This will also give you a better road position, making it more likely for cars to see you.
- Make eye contact with drivers - If you don't make eye contact then expect they haven't seen you and begin to slow. It's a simple, yet lifesaving habit to get into. Also, make eye contact with pedestrians so they know not to cross (I've had pedestrians cross in front of me). Making eye contact has saved me many times from incoming traffic from roads on the left.
- Stop at red lights - All cyclists need to abide by the cycle highway code.
- Make yourself visible to all traffic – Whether you do this by wearing bright coloured clothing or having lights on your bike and/or helmet. Liv Cycling offer jackets and jerseys such as the Cefira wind jacket which enhances safety in low light or foggy conditions. Also always position yourself on the road so you are completely visible.
- Plan your route before heading out - TFL offer routes along the cycle highways and routes across London which will allow you to avoid large busy roads and roundabouts.
- Wear a helmet, always. Liv Cycling have a large range of helmets for all different types of cycling which you can find here.
- Always carry fully charged lights on your bike. Don’t get caught in the dark!
We hope these tips have given you some ideas on how you can stay safe whilst commuting (or just cycling generally!)