Asserting yourself on the road…

Spend any time on the road and you’ll no doubt experience the odd curse word from an ill-informed motorist.

The driver doesn’t understand why you were riding further out from the kerb, preventing him from overtaking at a pinch-point. ‘You bl***y cyclists don’t even pay road tax!’ he shouts, agog at your impertinence. Your friend or co-worker says she’d like to cycle to work but won’t due to the danger/difficulty/sweat. When you’re a cyclist, you hear a lot of myths about cycling from people who don’t. Here are rebuttals to ten of them.

Source: 10 Cycling Myths Uncovered – Cyclescheme

As long as you remember that apart from motorways, you have just as much right to be on the road as anyone else. Knowing that you are in the right (as long as you are and are not running through red lights) will make your time on the road that little bit more enjoyable.

Taking control

If you ever did your Cycling Proficiency certificate at primary school, they’ll recommend that you spend much of your life “one metre” from the kerb. Unfortunately, due to decades of under-funding and well, lifestyle 4x4s being driven around our city streets, one metre from the kerb is usually where the potholes; the sunken manhole covers and debris from road accidents or bad weather ends up.

Don’t be there!

Whilst you should be looking well ahead of you as you ride, it’s not always easy to see where the obstacles are, especially in the dark or after heavy rain, so give yourself some more room; assert yourself and look after your own safety first.

The other benefit of taking a more prominent position in the road is that cars and other vehicles have to pass you properly! Close passes are frowned upon in the highway code (rule 211-213), yet most of us have to put up with them from time to time.

A car should be giving you the same room that it would give another car when overtaking, but most do not. However, should you receive any comments relating to points 1-4 on the article above, know that you are in the right.

But don’t do number 5, just don’t!

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