Tips for cycling in rush hour traffic

calmyourbeans By calmyourbeans, 18th Jan 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1uk2a3li/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Cycling

Rush hour is a mixture of frantic motorists and congested roads - read on to find out how you can stay safe when cycling during this demanding time of day.

Cycling has never been so popular.

Whether it was Bradley Wiggins gliding to Tour de France victory or Chris Hoy powering through London 2012 to become Britain's most successful Olympian, the activity has never been so in vogue. This has resulted in more and more cyclists taking to our city's roads, with places such as York, London and Bristol seeing a 25 per cent increase in those travelling on two wheels.

In fact, recent research has shown cyclists now outnumber cars in the country's capital during rush hour - but does this mean they are the kings of the road? With less protection and a lack of consideration from many motorists, travelling during peak times can be extremely dangerous and too frequently results in a cycle accident claim being filed.

Read on to find out some top tips on how to avoid accidents and stay safe when cycling during rush hour.

Make yourself seen

It is vital that you wear bright clothes, especially during winter, to help motorists notice you on the road. Lights are imperative, with the more reflective material you have on your bike and clothing the better. The more you stand out, the less chance there is of someone unintentionally crashing into you. There are a number of cycling products to help you be seen.

Expect the worse

Anticipation is everything when driving in heavy traffic. People can do unexpected things during the stress of gridlock and jams, so be careful when navigating around the city. Bikes take anything between 6 and 10 metres to stop, so also concentrate on the road ahead and what obstacles you might have to deal with. Dodging through the gaps between cars and buses might save you some time but often drivers will be oblivious of you - make sure you are ready for any sudden actions.

Cycle in a safe road position

Don't box yourself in against the pavement if you feel unsafe. Cyclists are legally entitled to ride in the middle of the left hand lane, with such a position alerting other road users to your presence and hopefully preventing any dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. If you feel comfortable then ride one metre from the pavement at an acceptable speed. Find out more information on road cycling positions.

Follow the rules

The number one complaint - sometimes true but often unfounded - is that cyclists are an unlicensed law unto themselves on the road. Make sure that you follow the Highway Code by signalling when turning and obeying all traffic rules.

Use as much safety equipment as possible

All cyclists should be wearing helmets anyway but there are a number of extra features which can help you stay safe during rush hour. Helmet or bike mirrors will enable you see what is behind you without having to take your eyes of the ever-changing road and turn around. Getting a dedicated cycle bag will also help you safely transport items without having to worry about them falling out or throwing you off balance.

What is your top tip for cycling during rush hour?

Tags

Bikes, Commuting, Cycle, Cycling, Work

Meet the author

author avatar calmyourbeans
The team at Calm Your Beans work for a digital marketing agency. One of the perks of the job is that we get to work with great clients from all corners of the business world.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
18th Jan 2013 (#)

Great advice. Personally I do not even know how to ride a bike.
It is important that cyclists wear reflective clothing in low light times of day.

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