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British Cycling Commuter eBook - free
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British Cycling Commuter eBook - free

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Posted 28th May

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Lots of new people are cycle commuting, and I'm sure many could do with some advice. I'm a cycling instructor, and this eBook touches on everything I would consider important (choosing a bike, how to carry stuff, a bit of road positioning, clothing etc.)

If you need some more info on how to cycle in traffic there are some more tips here: cyclinguk.org/art…fic

You need to give them an email address, but you can opt out of their mailing list.

Happy cycling, stay safe!
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I've been a commuter for a few years, and I literally ride the bike like I own the road.

That means I take up the centre of the road as early as possible, if theres a car really close - look back, then signal right and take up the space you want.

Personally I always use the right side of the road if I'm going right around a roundabout. I think going the long way around is more dangerous because there are so many impatient and inattentive drivers on our roads.
sowotsdis29/05/2020 02:05

most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency …most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency test and holding some type of certification should be compulsory for those using the road


Hi, I was waiting for a post like this. At worst a cyclist may fall off and hurt him or herself. Cars are huge 2 tonne metal boxes which kill hundreds of people each and every year.

When you say ‘far worse’ I would love to hear your logic. Cyclists will average <15mph, don’t create emissions and are extremely space efficient. They make people healthier so reduce disease and hospital visits, improve general happiness and free up road space so people who actually need to drive can do so without yet more cars creating traffic. Bikes are wonderful things and solve so many problems in our cities.

The usual arguments to why people on bikes are so bad, is because they are avoiding pot holes ( ie in your eyes swerving all over the road ). Not wearing a helmet ( in other words you are victim blaming). Or don’t pay ‘road tax’, when in fact this doesn’t exist and everyone pays for roads from council tax.

Please do share your well thought out and reasoned arguments
Sadly most people don't understand cyclists have as much right to be on the road as cars do, that means you shouldn't be cycling in the gutter and you are doing nothing wrong cycling two abreast. Sadly drivers will do whatever they can to get past even if it means putting you in danger, even things like where you are approaching red lights or held up by other cars.

I imagine this ebook will have tips with behaviour to try and keep you safe from these sad few a**holes who want to ruin it for everyone else.
26 Comments
I signalled and moved out to go right at a roundabout the other day, going over a "SLOW" sign in the process.

Unfortunately aforementioned sign was painted so idiotically in the road that it must have been raised about 3 inches from the tarmac and nearly jolted me off my bike as I was already unbalanced by raising my arm out to the side... so mental note from now on not to use any arm signals
Edited by: "booboobeaker" 28th May
Thanks a lot
Out of interest if I'm coming up to a roundabout on a dual carriageway 40mph road, am I right to signal and move over to the right hand lane if taking a right hand turn off the roundabout? Had a guy go mental at me last week because he was speeding and came right at me. Said I shouldn't have been in that lane in the first place and called me everything under the sun. So just wondering if I was in the wrong?
rylo_c28/05/2020 17:52

Thanks a lot Out of interest if I'm coming up to a roundabout on a …Thanks a lot Out of interest if I'm coming up to a roundabout on a dual carriageway 40mph road, am I right to signal and move over to the right hand lane if taking a right hand turn off the roundabout? Had a guy go mental at me last week because he was speeding and came right at me. Said I shouldn't have been in that lane in the first place and called me everything under the sun. So just wondering if I was in the wrong?


You're right. Some drivers don't like having to slow down (especially in places they're used to just blasting through.)
rylo_c28/05/2020 17:52

Thanks a lot Out of interest if I'm coming up to a roundabout on a …Thanks a lot Out of interest if I'm coming up to a roundabout on a dual carriageway 40mph road, am I right to signal and move over to the right hand lane if taking a right hand turn off the roundabout? Had a guy go mental at me last week because he was speeding and came right at me. Said I shouldn't have been in that lane in the first place and called me everything under the sun. So just wondering if I was in the wrong?


You act the same as if you're in a car. Own the lane. Just flip them the finger
I've been a commuter for a few years, and I literally ride the bike like I own the road.

That means I take up the centre of the road as early as possible, if theres a car really close - look back, then signal right and take up the space you want.

Personally I always use the right side of the road if I'm going right around a roundabout. I think going the long way around is more dangerous because there are so many impatient and inattentive drivers on our roads.
Thanks Al2001🌞
Sadly most people don't understand cyclists have as much right to be on the road as cars do, that means you shouldn't be cycling in the gutter and you are doing nothing wrong cycling two abreast. Sadly drivers will do whatever they can to get past even if it means putting you in danger, even things like where you are approaching red lights or held up by other cars.

I imagine this ebook will have tips with behaviour to try and keep you safe from these sad few a**holes who want to ruin it for everyone else.
most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency test and holding some type of certification should be compulsory for those using the road
sowotsdis29/05/2020 02:05

most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency …most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency test and holding some type of certification should be compulsory for those using the road


Hi, I was waiting for a post like this. At worst a cyclist may fall off and hurt him or herself. Cars are huge 2 tonne metal boxes which kill hundreds of people each and every year.

When you say ‘far worse’ I would love to hear your logic. Cyclists will average <15mph, don’t create emissions and are extremely space efficient. They make people healthier so reduce disease and hospital visits, improve general happiness and free up road space so people who actually need to drive can do so without yet more cars creating traffic. Bikes are wonderful things and solve so many problems in our cities.

The usual arguments to why people on bikes are so bad, is because they are avoiding pot holes ( ie in your eyes swerving all over the road ). Not wearing a helmet ( in other words you are victim blaming). Or don’t pay ‘road tax’, when in fact this doesn’t exist and everyone pays for roads from council tax.

Please do share your well thought out and reasoned arguments
Presumed liability should have been adopted in law years ago in the UK
Boxrick29/05/2020 01:15

Sadly most people don't understand cyclists have as much right to be on …Sadly most people don't understand cyclists have as much right to be on the road as cars do, that means you shouldn't be cycling in the gutter and you are doing nothing wrong cycling two abreast. Sadly drivers will do whatever they can to get past even if it means putting you in danger, even things like where you are approaching red lights or held up by other cars.I imagine this ebook will have tips with behaviour to try and keep you safe from these sad few a**holes who want to ruin it for everyone else.


I cycle to work and whilst we do have as much right to be on the road, I don't agree with the riding 2 abreast - it's unnecessary and just inflames things.
Boxrick29/05/2020 01:15

Sadly most people don't understand cyclists have as much right to be on …Sadly most people don't understand cyclists have as much right to be on the road as cars do, that means you shouldn't be cycling in the gutter and you are doing nothing wrong cycling two abreast. Sadly drivers will do whatever they can to get past even if it means putting you in danger, even things like where you are approaching red lights or held up by other cars.I imagine this ebook will have tips with behaviour to try and keep you safe from these sad few a**holes who want to ruin it for everyone else.


Why do you think its ok to cycle two abreast? Surely only when roads are quiet or in a group (that should split up if too large).
afroylnt29/05/2020 07:31

Why do you think its ok to cycle two abreast? Surely only when roads are …Why do you think its ok to cycle two abreast? Surely only when roads are quiet or in a group (that should split up if too large).


His reasoning will be that it's quicker to overtake cyclists that are riding two abreast as they take up less length of road. But I don't agree, it's much easier to overtake when they're not taking up an entire lane.
Their reasoning for doing it? So they can have a chat.
technobot29/05/2020 08:46

His reasoning will be that it's quicker to overtake cyclists that are …His reasoning will be that it's quicker to overtake cyclists that are riding two abreast as they take up less length of road. But I don't agree, it's much easier to overtake when they're not taking up an entire lane.Their reasoning for doing it? So they can have a chat.


Sometimes it does make sense but in a larger group they should split then have 2 smaller groups cycling abreast.
technobot29/05/2020 08:46

His reasoning will be that it's quicker to overtake cyclists that are …His reasoning will be that it's quicker to overtake cyclists that are riding two abreast as they take up less length of road. But I don't agree, it's much easier to overtake when they're not taking up an entire lane.Their reasoning for doing it? So they can have a chat.


It’s safer for the cyclists. It removes the temptation from drivers to perform unsafe overtaking on narrower roads with oncoming traffic.
Lefty29/05/2020 11:30

It’s safer for the cyclists. It removes the temptation from drivers to p …It’s safer for the cyclists. It removes the temptation from drivers to perform unsafe overtaking on narrower roads with oncoming traffic.


To a degree but I think large groups should split and leave a gap so traffic can still overtake in stages. Fyi I cycle and drive so can see both sides.
Lefty29/05/2020 11:30

It’s safer for the cyclists. It removes the temptation from drivers to p …It’s safer for the cyclists. It removes the temptation from drivers to perform unsafe overtaking on narrower roads with oncoming traffic.


I think it's down to drivers leaving a safe distance when overtaking, and not to overtake if that's not possible. I always leave a least 1.5m, but I've seen some very risky overtakes from other drivers.
technobot29/05/2020 12:08

I think it's down to drivers leaving a safe distance when overtaking, and …I think it's down to drivers leaving a safe distance when overtaking, and not to overtake if that's not possible. I always leave a least 1.5m, but I've seen some very risky overtakes from other drivers.


Usually get about one per ride often sometimes when the opposing lane is clear, which makes it doubly annoying..
Boxrick29/05/2020 02:34

Hi, I was waiting for a post like this. At worst a cyclist may fall off …Hi, I was waiting for a post like this. At worst a cyclist may fall off and hurt him or herself. Cars are huge 2 tonne metal boxes which kill hundreds of people each and every year.When you say ‘far worse’ I would love to hear your logic. Cyclists will average <15mph, don’t create emissions and are extremely space efficient. They make people healthier so reduce disease and hospital visits, improve general happiness and free up road space so people who actually need to drive can do so without yet more cars creating traffic. Bikes are wonderful things and solve so many problems in our cities.The usual arguments to why people on bikes are so bad, is because they are avoiding pot holes ( ie in your eyes swerving all over the road ). Not wearing a helmet ( in other words you are victim blaming). Or don’t pay ‘road tax’, when in fact this doesn’t exist and everyone pays for roads from council tax.Please do share your well thought out and reasoned arguments


Car drivers mad at cyclists, cyclists mad at runners with headphones...
In general PEOPLE are careless: so many car drivers, cyclists, runners or walkers are not aware what happening around.
My point is: PEOPLE should take actions and decrease hazards.
Dziambis29/05/2020 14:01

Car drivers mad at cyclists, cyclists mad at runners with headphones... In …Car drivers mad at cyclists, cyclists mad at runners with headphones... In general PEOPLE are careless: so many car drivers, cyclists, runners or walkers are not aware what happening around.My point is: PEOPLE should take actions and decrease hazards.


Yes people need to be looking further ahead and behind so that they're ready for anything, you have to be as defensive as possible.
Rob_Delve28/05/2020 19:46

I've been a commuter for a few years, and I literally ride the bike like I …I've been a commuter for a few years, and I literally ride the bike like I own the road.That means I take up the centre of the road as early as possible, if theres a car really close - look back, then signal right and take up the space you want. Personally I always use the right side of the road if I'm going right around a roundabout. I think going the long way around is more dangerous because there are so many impatient and inattentive drivers on our roads.



Good advice. I was hit by a car entering the roundabout while I was going round the outside of the roundabout. The driver literally said "sorry mate I didn't see you" after his front bumber and bonnet hit me. He got a slap on the wrist for the offence (sent on a course). I've still got the injuries
Thanks, very useful!
Personally I think cyclists should be limited to cycling in no more than groups of 4, most problems solved involving inconsiderate idiots cycling as if no one else exists and stopping everyone from overtaking.

I'm a cyclist myself before anyone accuses me of bias
Boxrick29/05/2020 02:34

Hi, I was waiting for a post like this. At worst a cyclist may fall off …Hi, I was waiting for a post like this. At worst a cyclist may fall off and hurt him or herself. Cars are huge 2 tonne metal boxes which kill hundreds of people each and every year.When you say ‘far worse’ I would love to hear your logic. Cyclists will average <15mph, don’t create emissions and are extremely space efficient. They make people healthier so reduce disease and hospital visits, improve general happiness and free up road space so people who actually need to drive can do so without yet more cars creating traffic. Bikes are wonderful things and solve so many problems in our cities.The usual arguments to why people on bikes are so bad, is because they are avoiding pot holes ( ie in your eyes swerving all over the road ). Not wearing a helmet ( in other words you are victim blaming). Or don’t pay ‘road tax’, when in fact this doesn’t exist and everyone pays for roads from council tax.Please do share your well thought out and reasoned arguments


This is full of inaccuracies - there are good drivers and poor drivers, great cyclists and awful ones...at worst a cyclist kills someone through their actions, as has been seen with high profile incidents including Allison or whatever the idiot with no brakes was called in London.

"Cars" don't kill anyone either, only the people who drive them do.

The reason some car drivers get angry at cyclists is law of the jungle - the expectation is that a car is more powerful than a bike, and annoyance that cars (both fuel and the vehicle itself) are taxed heavily and are therefore more "deserving" than bikes.

The obverse is also true, some cyclists get angry at pretty much everything... pedestrians, other cyclists, buses etc.

Some drivers break the law and some don't, some cyclists break the law and some don't, I'd say the most obvious one being red light jumping.

This is all true because cyclists and drivers are all members of the human race, no one has a monopoly on virtue
sowotsdis29/05/2020 02:05

most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency …most cyclists are far worse than most divers and passing a proficiency test and holding some type of certification should be compulsory for those using the road


I don’t normally dive with my bike. I tend to just ride it! I already hold proficiency in the way of a driving license. Just because I’m on two wheels why should this be any different than four? We need to move away from cars! ycles and hopefully soon e-scooters will revolutionise transport.
AngelFromHeathen30/05/2020 00:02

This is full of inaccuracies - there are good drivers and poor drivers, …This is full of inaccuracies - there are good drivers and poor drivers, great cyclists and awful ones...at worst a cyclist kills someone through their actions, as has been seen with high profile incidents including Allison or whatever the idiot with no brakes was called in London. "Cars" don't kill anyone either, only the people who drive them do.The reason some car drivers get angry at cyclists is law of the jungle - the expectation is that a car is more powerful than a bike, and annoyance that cars (both fuel and the vehicle itself) are taxed heavily and are therefore more "deserving" than bikes.The obverse is also true, some cyclists get angry at pretty much everything... pedestrians, other cyclists, buses etc. Some drivers break the law and some don't, some cyclists break the law and some don't, I'd say the most obvious one being red light jumping.This is all true because cyclists and drivers are all members of the human race, no one has a monopoly on virtue


Chose your weapon a 2tonne car capable of travelling 100+ mph or a 10kg bike which can travel about 30mph and more typically 10-15mph.

Deaths caused by cycling are rare ie single digit figures over multiple years, when they do happen the world explodes ( as you mention Allison ), but deaths by car are common and frequently and thrown under the rug and ignored by the media. We have become almost complacent to the fact cars ( people ) take so many lives its all basically now normal.

Nothing I stated is inaccurate, feel free to state any point I made and I will happily pass a tonne of evidence to back up my point.

The consequences of breaking the law in a car are an order of magnitude worse than someone on a bike, in terms of damage to property and other human life.
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