Urban street cycling survival guide

Urban street cycling survival guide

Thursday 18th April 2024, by Mark McKee.

Cycling in an urban environment, especially to and from work, can be a real buzz. For many of us it is a great way to top and tail a working day with great exercise and feeling bright and breezy when you get into your workplace. Nevertheless, city cycling takes a bit of getting used to if you are new to it, or have come back after a period of time out.

If I could summarise city commuting cycling in one phrase it would be: stay focused! As a cyclist on the roads you are in one of the most at-risk categories. You don't have much protection if a vehicle hits you, so being on your guard is key to staying out of harm's way.

This is meant to be a quick read, so to cut to the chase, these are my top five tips:

    1. Always assume the vehicle in front of you is going to stop, turn into you or otherwise not care or notice that you are in their way
    2. You can generally get in between lanes of traffic to keep moving when other vehicles are moving slowly or stationary, but always glance behind you before any lane changes to make sure another cyclist isn’t zipping along and about to collide with you
    3. Don’t jump red lights. Other riders may do it but don’t be pressured into taking risks and being as stupid as them. This is especially true if you are having a bit of a race with another cyclist. Let them win if they want to risk getting run over or colliding with a pedestrian at a crossing
    4. Make sure you are using lights, even when it is daylight, as it gives drivers an excuse to notice you. Wearing headphones is an act of dumbness that I have never understood. You need to hear what is going on. Be seen and be able to hear too!
    5. If a vehicle cuts you up don't waste your time remonstrating at them for their lack of decency. It's not that you are letting them get away with it; rather that you may as well not try and reason with a moron -- just keep moving

      As with all of these things, my list isn't exhaustive, but using common sense and being aware of what is around you will help you to enjoy cycling and avoid scrapes. Happy riding!

      Back to blog