Ditching 4 wheels for 2: tips on cycling to work
Sometimes it feels as though there’s a war going on between cyclists and motorists as a battle for space on the road intensifies.
But it can be forgotten that many motorists are also cyclists and vice versa. While there are bugbears on both sides, many drivers are seeing the benefits of switching from four wheels to two when it comes to getting through town and heading for work. Here are some things to consider when turning the engine off and getting on your bike
Clearly there are health benefits about taking to the road on a bike. Although it’s a low-impact type of exercise (making it easier on your joints), you’ll still burn plenty of calories, and if you ride up hills, your upper body will certainly feel the benefit. If you’re a driver sitting in a long queue at lights or in a traffic jam, the sight of a cyclist nipping through to the front and beyond must make all but the most committed car-lover a little bit envious. A cyclist also has lower running costs and less worries about parking.
There is a perception that cycling is the most dangerous method of transport on our town roads and we do seem to be hearing about more accidents where cyclists are fatally injured. Sometimes it can be caused by other vehicles (or even tramlines) but weather will always hit bike-riders harder than if you’re inside a car. Almost every condition leads to some sort of hazard for a cyclist to overcome: even hot summer days provide danger from the sun’s glare and requires you to keep drinking cold water to prevent dehydration.
Rules of the road
Contrary to the belief of some cyclists, traffic lights and crossings do apply to them. While cycling on pavements is forbidden, confusion does occur when we consider the definition of a pavement given that footpaths, footways and highways somewhat muddy matters. Being able to be seen in dark mornings or at night used to be advisory but is very much required legally now, so make sure you have proper lighting/reflectors. And do not cycle while under the influence.
Be safe and be considerate
Finding quieter routes as part of your regular journey, having a good solid town bike, and wearing a helmet (it’s amazing how many cyclists don’t take this simple safety measure), all make cycling safer. As cyclists like to be shown consideration by drivers, the same applies the other way round. Cycling two abreast may be perfectly legal, but it can cause unnecessary delays in busy traffic and may inflame the ire of drivers behind. And please do signal. It’s both courteous and safe.
Would you consider leaving the car at home more to start cycling?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!