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UKcyclerules on the Guardian bike blog

4 April 2011

This week’s post for the Guardian’s bike blog looks at how to pass other traffic, and whether undertaking is a good idea.

Let me know what you think!

  1. Ashwin permalink
    4 April 2011 13:44

    Hello, cross-posting here after reading this article on the Guardian website.

    Yet more evidence of how — by attempting to clog up a cyclist’s mindset with traffic regulations — Britain is increasing the chance of road accidents involving a cyclist.

    I have been a London cyclist ever since moving to the city some years ago and time and again have seen the rules-and-regulations cyclist (rather than the instinctive, common-sense cyclist) get themselves into trouble on the road because they are unsure of what rule to call upon to their decision-making when faced with a sticky situation.

    What’s needed is more robust training (this includes how articles such as the above are phrased), the kind that will make cyclists face up to the dangers that are present on the road and get them ready to make spontaneous real-time decisions, rather than telling them that by following an ever-increasing set of yellow-line-white-line-stop-line-red-line rules they can somehow side-step the dangers of cycling on the street.

    • 4 April 2011 14:25

      hi ashwin

      fair points. it’s not my intention to force everyone into a compliance mentality, and i agree that there are situations where safety concerns can outweigh the need for cyclists to obey the rules. but i do think it’s in cyclists’ interests to know what the rules are, to help them make decisions generally (for example whether it’s worth jumping a red, which they can weigh up better once they know the possible consequences) and to help them know where they stand if they’re ever accused of a cycling offence.

      i also agree that training is a good idea. i’m increasingly tempted to do a bikeability course!

  2. 26 May 2011 15:22

    Interesting article, as you said, cycling in London involves negotiating plenty of stationary or slow moving traffic.

    What particularly caught my eye was:
    “It seems that, even when you’re passing cars, undertaking is the more dangerous option: “it puts you in a position where you are unexpected and cannot easily be seen””

    It’s a bit of a double edged sword because motorists don’t expect to be undertaken. Equally, they expect cyclists to be on the left, so they won’t look for you on the right.

    On the whole, the best advice is simply to keep pace with the traffic both at queues and in motion where possible, and only to over or undertake if there is plenty of room and you can make yourself visible.

    • 26 May 2011 16:28

      thanks sooz – think i’d agree with that.

      love your site btw!!

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