Today I handing the NTC blog over to Angus King from cyced.co.uk
I’m tremendously fortunate to share my passion for road cycling on Natalie’s blog; although she tells me it’s been a while since she was on her roadie and is now off-roading… I’ll forgive her!
As a cyclist and cycling blogger, my advocacy stretches to the moon and back. And it’s been stretching ever so more recently now the cold’s hit and people tend to be a little less inclined to get out.
But it’s also much darker, and if you are a commuter like me you’ll want to stay safe!
It’s no surprise cycle usage is on the up as it’s good for the environment and your health. Bike casualty figures are on the decline, down 10% on the previous 5 year average, and overall there are 1700% less fatalities than car accidents per year.
That’s a strong stat.
You’re more likely to be injured driving your car than cycling your bike.
But let’s not get all doom and gloom.
Here are the simple steps you can take to be safer on the bike.
Firstly, be visible! And when I mean visible, go beyond a little red light at the back of the bike. There is a ton of reflector cycle clothing on the market including casual commuting clothes with reflector strips built in. You can also get reflecting bag covers from brands like Hump, which are a sure fire way to be seen. Hey, why not add it onto your cycling gift wish list?!
Be aware and signal. Unfortunately if you’re in a city or town you’ll need to be a lot more aware than cycling down the countryside lanes of somewhere like Devon; for which Natalie tells me the scenery and sky’s are tremendous!
Remember to anticipate pedestrians movements, and car movements, and don’t go cycling up to the left of any lorries or buses as they may not see you.
Always follow the road laws. Cyclists from where I am, in Manchester, seem to love skipping red lights and pulling out alongside the curb at a junction despite cars coming. This heightens the risk, but with anything, silly actions cause unnecessary accidents.
Be patient and take a little more time with your journey if needs be, when amongst traffic. The more patient you are, the more relaxed you’ll be on the bike.
If you have your head screwed on, you are very unlikely to have an accident. You’ll soon realise the roads are not such a scary environment and motorists will give you respectable clearance, even when it’s a little bit darker and colder outside.
So what are you waiting for?
Cycling is an incredible mode of transport for commuting and pleasure, and the more you put in the more you’ll get out of it.
See you on the roads,