How to position yourself on the road correctly when cycling | Commute Smart


You see a lot of riders riding close to the
kerb to stay out of the way of traffic. But by riding in the gutter you are more likely
to encounter hazards, such as broken glass or drain covers, and it may encourage motorists
to try and squeeze past you when there potentially might not be enough space. When riding on
the road there are two positions to use. Your default riding position is about a third
of the way into the lane or approximately inline with the nearside of a car. If you
are intending to turn right ahead or need to prevent cars from overtaking at any point
you should take control of the lane, riding where you can be easily seen. This gives motorists
the message that you don’t want to be overtaken as it isn’t safe. Ensure you look behind to
check it’s safe to move into this position. On side roads if you are passing a side road
on your left you should move out to take the lane. This will increase your visibility to
traffic joining the road from the junction. Give you more room to manoeuvre and prevent
impatient motorists behind from overtaking and then sharply turning left in front of you.
On busier roads, with multiple side roads it might not be practical to take the lane
for every junction. In this situation you should glance behind you, make eye contact
with the driver following and edge out slightly. This should be enough to make yourself more
visible to the driver behind you so they know that you don’t want to be overtaken. When
passing parked cars the same principles apply as passing side roads although you should
keep yourself it least a door’s width of space or more if possible in case a door in opened.
Take a look in the mirrors of the vehicle to see if you can see a face or look for a
light in the car to see if the driver could be ready to open the door. If you’re riding
with others it’s perfectly acceptable to ride two abreast with the outside rider approximately
in the centre of the lane. However on narrow roads or if you are aware of a build up of
traffic behind you should single out when safe to do so to let them pass. Blind bends
are another situation where singling out is advised in case of oncoming traffic crossing
the white lines in the middle of the road. Observation, anticipation and negotiation
should be your watch words when riding out on the road. You should always know what’s
going on around you. Where possible making eye contact with drivers and other road users.
Looking well ahead. Anticipating what the traffic ahead is going to do. Adapting your
riding accordingly and negotiating when necessary with the drivers around you should become
second nature. This all helps contribute towards a smart commute.

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