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The definitive guide to safer cycling is a four part series that offers
crucial information on important cycling safety statistics as well as helpful
tips and advice on how to stay safe whilst cycling at night, during the winter
and in any other less-than-ideal situation written by Michael Morris.
Part 2 offers tips for safer cycling including 6 ways to avoid road
A great way to making sure you can better protect yourself is by:
Keeping up-to-date with the Highway Code and how it particularly applies to cyclists
You should always be alert when cycling, not taking anything for granted
Display your intentions early by signalling and always look and double check before stopping, turning or riding off from start
Avoid cycling too close to parked cars, there is the risk of the driver opening the door without looking
Never cycle on the path as this could result in a £30 fine
When cycling on joint cyclist and pedestrian paths announce to people when you are approaching
Six ways to avoid road collisions
Many cyclists already follow the above advice, they are intended as general
guidance, but here are six practices that any cyclist should implement when
cycling to make sure they are safe.
Keep away from busy streets
Cyclists can often make the mistake of sticking to the same roads they
would when driving. Although this makes sense because you are familiar with the
route, those roads are the same roads that all motorists take and therefore
there are more vehicles to contend with and a greater risk of being caught up in
Remember to use your lights
Cyclists should have lights fixed to their bike, especially when travelling
in the early morning or late at night. It is shocking how hard it is to see a
cyclist when sitting or driving a vehicle so why would you take the risk of
cycling at night without lights?
Don’t be afraid to use the whole lane
Staying to the left of the road is normally a wise decision, however,
there are certain times when being greedy on the road can keep you safe.
To stop vehicles overtaking on narrow roads
To avoid being hit by the opening of a car door
In slow moving traffic, so you’re easily visible to all
Always signal your intentions
Signalling your turns is very crucial when cycling in case a car is
approaching and tries to overtake as you are turning. When cycling make sure to
signal early so vehicles around you are aware of your movements.
Ditch the music and mobiles
It is advised to avoid wearing headphones and keep your mobile phone
away at all times to ensure that you are not distracted in the slightest.
Cycles as if you’re invisible
This is not to say wear plain clothes or fail to signal appropriately. This is designed to ensure a motorist doesn’t hit you, even if they don’t see you. By staying out of the way on fast roads you’re more likely to keep safe.
The definitive guide to safer cycling is a four part series
that offers crucial information on important cycling safety statistics as well
as helpful tips and advice on how to stay safe whilst cycling at night, during
the winter and in any other less-than-ideal situation written by Michael
Part 1 tackles bike safety in the UK exploring cycling casualties
and fatalities, types of cycling accidents and common injuries.
Cycling casualties and fatalities
Serious accidents occur mostly in urban areas
50% of fatalities are on rural roads where the speed limit is higher
Road junctions are responsible for 75% of incidents
Male cyclists make up 80% of collisions
Head injuries account for up to 75% of major injuries
Types of Cycling Accidents
Some contributory reasons for serious injuries in road collisions include:
Cycling entering the road from the pavement (20%)
A poor turn or manoeuvre (17%)
Careless and reckless cycling (17%)
Common Cycling Injuries
Drivers emerging from a side road into the path of a cyclist
Drivers turning across the natural path of the cyclist
Cyclists riding into the path of a vehicle, particularly when entering the road from a path
Cyclists turning right on either a major or minor road
Children playing on their bikes or riding carelessly
If you are up for a challenging multi-day cycle route
adventure or are simply looking for that leisurely bike ride for the whole
family, there are a multitude of routes that make up the National Cycle Network
just for you.
If multi-day bike rides are what you are interested in, then look no further.
With 174 miles of England’s countryside, Roman forts,
museums and attractive market towns this is a challenging adventure but one
will impressive views.
Bath to Bournemouth
This route begins in Bath passing through the UK’s longest
cycle and walking tunnel at Combe Down. IF you are looking for a cycle trip
that will take you along the Bournemouth beaches and stunning views of the Isle
of Wight then look no further.
Oban to Campbeltown
Get your chance to explore the spectacular Scottish scenery
with a physically demanding challenging hill climbing cycle route.
Are you interested in spring day rides?
Chew Valley Loop
This route takes you out of the busy streets of Bristol and
into the Somerset countryside.
London’s Docklands and Lea Valley
You can escape the bustling city and cycle from Greenwich
Maritime World Heritage site to Lea Valley cycling along Regent’s Canal
towpath, a tranquil waterway in the heart of London.
Are you looking for an adventure that you can take with your family?
Comber Greenway, Northern Ireland
This seven-mile traffic free route follows the old disused
railway from Belfast to Comber.
The Clay Trails, Cornwall
These trails consist of multiple routes so you have the freedom
to go whatever distance you’d like.
Find out more about all the route that the National Cycle Network offers here.
The roads are getting busier and busier with cyclists now that spring has come out to play and the sun is shining more.
But how is your bike doing, having been in the shed over the
Is your bike looking a little dirty perhaps, in some need of
some TLC or even some maintenance or repairs?
Why not scrub your hub?
Step one and a quick helpful tip for a bike that has been in
the shed all winter is to simply give it a wash.
Grab a bucket of warm soapy water and dry your bike off with
a clean cloth removing as much of the water as possible.
Maintain your mechanisms
Step two: lube up your bike.
There is plenty of advice on how to limber up your ride properly
but you can always just visit your local bike shop for any further advice.
Tend to your tyres
Step three: check your tyres.
Just pinch your tyre with your thumb and forefinger to
assess whether it needs topping up. You tyre should be firm but with a little
give as over-inflating tyres can be just as bad for your bike as not having
Shake, rattle and get ready to roll
Step four: give all the moving parts on your bike a once
over to make sure they are secure before you jump back onto your bike and take
it to the streets.
Brakes at the ready
Step five: test your brakes to make sure they’re not worn.
Check your headset
Finally, step six: check your headset (the part that your
forks and stem slot into at the front of the bike) and your crank (the part
your pedals are attached to).
These are just a few simple steps to make sure your ride is
safe and ready for those summer days that are fast approaching.
Cycling UK calls on everybody, from cycling groups to clubs
to individuals to register women-only rides as inspiration for women to cycle.
Even today, women are often underrepresented in the cycling
industry and therefore women need the encouragement to start and continue
cycling in a female-friendly environment supported by the cycles industry.
During the Women’s Festival of Cycling, Cycling UK will be
highlighting exceptional women who promote and encourage others to take part.
You can nominate your female role models this year and celebrate 100 Women in cycling. If you’d like to nominate someone click here!
The Women’s Festival of Cycling event will include cycle
rides and events all across the country. You can join the celebration and put
on an even in July!
Kristen Bonkoski presents 4 useful tips for riding in low light with children.
As Spring and Summer are fast approaching, the days are getting longer with a promise of sun-filled evenings.
But, right now and maybe even for the next couple weeks, the days are still shorter with dusk falling so much quicker than it will at the peak of July.
If you’re trying to squeeze in some after-school, after-work evening rides or just some active time with the family why not read these tips so you’re never caught off guard by the setting sun.
4 tips for riding in low light with your family
Mount up lights
Rather than adding bike lights to your bike every time you go for a ride, why not add some fixed lights that you can leave on for times where you find yourself racing the sun.
Kristen recommends the lightweight Knog Frog lights for children as they are light and have a great battery life span.
Add reflective tape
Reflective tape can do a lot, so why not add it to your kids’ helmets, wheels, bike frames and backpacks?
Have your kids wear ankle and knee reflectors
Although reflective vests are great, ankle and knee reflectors are actually more effective. A 2012 study found that drivers saw cyclists with reflective knee and ankle straps 94% of the time, whereas, they saw cyclists with a reflective vest 67% of the time.
In the evening why not give off-road riding a go with the children. Riding trails and canal paths in the dark can be a great adventure.
Take part in the UK’s biggest cycling, walking and scooting school challenge.
Families are invited to take part in the Big Pedal 2019!
Big Pedal 2019, supported by Angellica Bell, British television, radio presenter and cycling advocate, is a great way to encourage young people from across the UK to travel by bike, foot or scooter to and from school.
“I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter or bike.”
– Angellica Bell
Organised by Sustrans, the competition will run from Monday the 25th of March to Friday the 5th of April.
Across the 10 days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.
Alongside this great competition and for the first time ever, dozens of schools across the UK will be closing the road out the school gates to motor vehicles. This will not only limit the volume of traffic but help to reduce air pollution all while creating an environment in which cycling and walking are safe and enjoyable.
“The Big Pedal may only run for two weeks but can leave a lasting effect on the way children travel to school.”
– Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO
This year’s competition looks to build upon the success of 2019 which saw over 1,300 schools register to take part, with teachers, parents, siblings and school children making more than a million journeys to school by bike or scooter.