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The essential guide for new commuters

Discussion in 'Commuting and Utility Cycling' started by jonny jeez, 3 Jun 2010.

  1. edrobbin

    edrobbin Regular

    The bible of commuting - good effort.

    I stumbled across the phrase that included the word 'courtesy'. In my books this is one of the most important things to be aware of. Driver in the same traffic jam they've been in every day for years, WVM pulling a fast one at the dodgy junction - all of them hate cyclists with a passion. Cyclists need to do everything they can to keep these guys on our side. Overtly giving someone space, a thumbs up or a wave if a driver does the tiniest thing in your favour - all contributes to them thinking 'actually, not all cyclists are that bad'.

    RLJ'ing - does the exact opposite - increases WVM's hatred of all things 2 wheel. If nothing else is heeded from this excellent guide, be courteous, and don't RLJ
     
    CanucksTraveller and jonny jeez like this.
  2. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Regular

    Location:
    Woking
    As a commuter you really can't shortcut safety. Chances of you getting hit by a car are very slim, but if you're out there on your bike 5 days a week those chances start adding up. I'd say a defensive style is what you need, always look well ahead for cars that are breaking / pulling out of a driveway / opening a door into the road etc. Not sticking too close to the curb is important too, indeed, we have as much right to occupy a lane as any other user (if not more). But where possible, I prefer cycling a bit further and taking roads that are light on traffic.

    Also, it's just going to take time for cyclists to become accepted by the less patient on the road. Unfortunately Britain has missed about 40 years of development on this front, but countries like the Netherlands went through similar friction in the 70s when the car arrived in large numbers, and it took lots of arguments, accidents and protests to finally change things for the good.
     
    jonny jeez likes this.
  3. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    I agree. It just gives you a bit more room to use if someone does something silly. I think it's worth practising emergency turns a few times (reverse what that US article says about left-turns, though!), just in case someone tries to left-hook or right-cross you.

    Indeed. It's generally nicer and less polluted, too.
     
  4. greekonabike

    greekonabike President of the 'Democratic Republic' of GOAB

    Location:
    Kent
    I've recently started riding again after several years of not being on a bike. I never really cycled on the roads and when I did they were always roads with minimal traffic. I found this guide really helpful so I'd like to say thank you to everyone who made a contribution.

    GOAB
     
    jonny jeez likes this.
  5. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Regular

    Location:
    Woking
    Were your last trips in Greece? In that case you might pick up some different commuter cycle clothing as well ;)
     
    greekonabike likes this.
  6. greekonabike

    greekonabike President of the 'Democratic Republic' of GOAB

    Location:
    Kent
    I was actually born in the UK and have never ridden in my homeland, it's on the bucket list. I've heard a rumour that Greece were melting down old bikes to use for currency and metal bats. Luckily my families from Cyprus where the bikes are surviving by hiding in the dense bush and mountainous regions.

    GOAB
     
  7. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Regular

    Location:
    Woking
    Glad to hear that there are protected habitats for them!
     
  8. greekonabike

    greekonabike President of the 'Democratic Republic' of GOAB

    Location:
    Kent
    For now....I fear that soon all the old Raleighs will be herded up and loaded into the smelter. When the option is bicycle or goat you choose goat.

    GOAB