London by Bike: Cycling safety tips

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Seven safety tips for when riding your bike around London

Time Out's UK Lifestyle Editor Katie Dailey, author of 'Heels on Wheels', offers her top tips for riding safely around the capital. Feel free to leave further suggestions in the comments box.

Cycling safety tips

  • Stay aware of hazards

    When cycling, generally keep left until you near a junction. But leave enough width between you and any parked cars for them to open their doors without hitting you.

  • Move to the middle at junctions

    At junctions, move to the middle of the road, at the front of the cars, where you are clearly visible. Remember that larger vehicles, such as lorries, can’t see cyclists in their wing mirrors, so avoid positioning yourself at the left at a junction, as this is the most dangerous place to be when a vehicle is making a turn.

  • Practise signalling

    You’ll need to be able to hold your bike with one hand on the bars, while you signal with the other, and sometimes this can take a bit of practice. If you don’t signal, road users behind you (particularly motorcyclists) might be embarking on manoeuvres to overtake you.

  • Be seen

    It sounds obvious, but cyclists without lights and reflective clothing are invisible. It’s easy to carry Velcro bands in your bag, just in case you take a ride. You can quickly wrap these round your wrists and ankles, or over your bag straps, and they really increase your visibility to drivers.

  • Watch out for buses and taxis

    Be very mindful of buses and taxis. Both have a tendency to pull into the road without much warning, so hang back when you approach one and watch their indicators to check their next move.

  • Use your wing mirrors

    Consider your shoulders your wing mirrors. Good drivers check their mirrors before they do anything – and so should you. Before moving left or right, have a glance over your shoulder to see what’s happening behind you, keeping an eye out for fellow cyclists and motorcyclists.

  • Don't cycle under the influence

    Cycling drunk is as bad as driving drunk. Safe cycling relies on the alertness and co-ordination of the driver – which can’t help but be compromised by alcohol. One of the most important things about knowing how to cycle, is knowing when not to cycle.


Users say

2 comments
Mira
Mira

Cycling London with Barclays bikes is the best ever!!!!

S. Saran
S. Saran

Very good safety tips for cyclists. Please give more.