I am going to attempt my first long distance commute tomorrow


Well, it is hardly a long commute compared to the distance some of you cycle, but I only have an 8 mile round trip normally. Tomorrow I have taken the day off and am planning to cycle the 7 miles to the local hospital to visit my mum in the afternoon.

I will have to deal with two big roundabouts and 2 mini roundabouts for the first time ever. Don't have the joy of roundabouts on my commute to work. I just have to go straight over the first roundabout, I plan on taking the primary position. The other roundabout is huge and the traffic much denser and too fast flowing so I'm going to dismount and use the crossing places provided for that one. The mini roundabouts should be fine.

The way there should be fine as it is mainly downhill, although it is on an extremely bendy road (I usually drop down a couple of gears going down in the car). My only concern will be cycling up it as it as there are road works with traffic lights for about 1/4 mile, so my worry is that I won't be able to cycle up it fast enough before the lights on the other side turns to green, plus I don't want to hold the other cars up too much as I dare say that unless I cycled in the gutter they wouldn't be able to get past me. Maybe I might push my bike along the grass verge on that bit, it would give me a rest anyway.

Wish me luck!
One RAB tip - ride it in primary, in the middle of your allotted lane, and as if you were a car. No skirting round the edge. REMEMBER: Before you exit you must look over BOTH shoulders for cars. I can't stress this enough.

Good luck, take it easy, and keep alert.
As long as you are clearly visible (i.e. having a hi-viz vest), although that's not always a guarantee of safety, use your eyes at all times, and signal clearly and in time, you will be fine.
And don't worry about 'holding up' the cars: you have as much right to the road as they do.
But, as you requested, good luck! ;)


early signal, early line, confident and strong position, cars like that far more than rushed and nervy riding

do that and it's easy, confidence


Well I am pleased to say that I was successful in my quest. It took me just over 28 mins to get there. Forgot to set my stopwatch for the journey back though, but visiting hours finished at 2.30pm and my watch said 3.12pm when I got to the front door. So about 45 mins on the way back. Very pleased with myself as I managed to cycle all the way up the hill (did I say it was a really STEEP hill, around a mile 1/2 or so long?). Roundabouts were a breeze. Took them in primary no cars behind me and the odd car that was approaching the roundabout from other directions did the right thing and kindly stopped whilst I passed. The huge roundabout I mentioned, I used the joint cycle/pedestrian pavement. I hadn't realised it was for cycles as well until I saw a tiny sticker on the lamp post indicating a cycle route. Lots of fast moving traffic at that point so had to wait a few times to cross over, but no biggie.
The traffic lights weren't as bad as I thought either. On the way down I stopped behind the cars in the primary position until the lights turned green then cycled down the middle of the road keeping up with the car in front. On the way up the lights were also on red so I cycled up the outside of all the parked cars, noticed that there was no longer any cars coming down and decided to be a RLJer during the time delay between the top of the roadworks turning red and my side turning green. Gave me enough of a headstart and there was space for the traffic to pass me and I managed to make it past the road works a couple of seconds before that side turned green again. Phew!
So all in all an enjoyable cycle and I feel capable of attempting longer distances in the future.


Champion barbed-wire hurdler
Leith, Edinburgh
Well done, Plax !

Be proud of yourself - it's the beginning of bigger things and growing confidence. I was always pretty wary of very busy roads when I started cycling again in 2006, but I've made myself get on them every now and again in the worst traffic (I can usually avoid them 99% of the commute as there's a handy set of paths that take me almost door to door) and didn't find that it was as scary as I'd imagined.

Once I got the nerve up to take primary as much as possible, things felt so much better. I have the posts I read on here to thank for that, as well as buying and reading Cyclecraft.


Senior Member
Well done Plax!

Plax said:
I hadn't realised it was for cycles as well until I saw a tiny sticker on the lamp post indicating a cycle route.

My guess is that there are lots of places where cyclists are allowed, but other route users don't realise, because there isn't a sign indicating as such, or it is too small.

Like roads, for example.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Well done - this sort of thing will be second nature to you the more you do. Excellent !


Middle of the pack...
S Yorks
Plax said:
No, it was a round trip of 14 miles, so nuh!

Everyones got their own goals and targets. Happy nothing happened to put you off.

I remember my 1st commute 30ish mile round trip- figured it'd be a 1 off, just to be able to say I'd done it.

There are still things I hear about on here and think 'no way I'll ever do that', like going out on a sunday morning and doing 100 miles. But you never know;)


New Member
Yay, well done! And glad to hear you enjoyed it, too!

(Traffic lights at roadworks are rarely as bad as all that - there's usually enough time to pootle through)
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