In the UK, cycling is on the increase and it seems that there is more and more attention being paid to cyclists. On the face of it, that sounds like a good thing, the more people know about cycling the better. However, all of the attention is not exactly good attention, sure there is a lot of support for cycling in the UK, and the performances in the pro ranks have certainly helped that.
However, there are still UK Cyclists that are bringing bad attention to the cycling sport/community through actions that are completely avoidable.
There are two major things that cyclists in the UK need, well not all cyclists, but a lot of them. That is education and the proper cycling accessories.
With the increase of online bicycle stores, and the availability of always improving cycling accessories, cyclists can now make themselves safer to themselves and more visible to both pedestrians and vehicles. One of the cycling accessories that we have been delighted to take on is the Aura LED Sports Belt because it is so convenient, such great value and offers 360 degree illuminated visibility to cyclists.
On top of that, cyclists in the UK need to shop online for the right clothing that includes high visibility jackets, that are reflective and withstand all weather conditions.
A good set of bicycle lights is important for being seen as well as an Aura LED Sports Belt, as this is what motorists are used to looking out for.
On top of the right cycling accessories to be seen, cyclists also need to ensure that they have the right bicycle tyres to maintain grip on wet roads and prevent punctures as you cycle.
So now that we have discussed cycling accessories and bicycle tyres, we also need to talk about education for cyclists. Perhaps another way to describe it would be education for and about cyclists.
What we want is to avoid having to have videos like this uploaded every day!
That way, we can educate cyclists about how to ride properly on UK roads and educate motorists and pedestrians about what to expect from a cyclist who is cycling within the law and doing things correctly. Our opinions on this aren't of course applicable to all cyclists. I see many cyclists doing a great job of representing cyclists and proper road etiquette when I'm both driving and cycling, but there are some who don't and that ranges from the casual cyclists who rarely gets out to those that cycle every day.
So, cycling education needs to start with awareness. Road users need to be aware that the other exists, and to always expect a cyclist or a car to appear when you don't expect it. So this goes for traffic lights to start. If a light is red for you, don't go through it, no matter how many wheels are beneath you. If a light is green, go through it, but still keep an eye out for another vehicle or cyclist who hasn't adhered to the rule of not breaking red lights.
The next part of the education needs to come in understanding what cyclists can and can't do on UK roads. There is always talk of how cyclists should stick to the bike lanes, but that just isn't the case. A bike must adhere much of the same rules as a car, and so in most cases, a bicycle and the cyclist who is on it, can be in a lane the same way as a car, regardless of the existence of a bike lane.
A cyclist must signal as it turns, a cyclist must check blind spots when maneuvering and a cyclist must be sure to give way where it is the rules of the road.
There are so many areas of education around cycling, but these are the three key areas where education is most important.
Sure it will take time for co-existence between cyclists and motor vehicles on the road, and eventually I believe that there will be a balance found that suits everyone safely, but in the meantime, the above rant is the way I believe that we can work towards that.
Don't forget to check out our online bicycle store.