Sharing the Roads

Sharing the road has become a bone of contention between cyclists and motorists in recent years, yet we all have a responsibility to respect the rules of the road. It pays to be smart and courteous in your riding. Simple things like providing motorists with plenty of space to pass and riding single file on narrow roads and through towns all help to keep you safe and gain respect from your fellow road users. Here are some other tips to help keep you safe on your bike on Irish Roads.

• Always Wear a Helmet.

• Ensure you are visible to other road users. During the day bright colours such as green, yellow, orange, or turquoise will ensure you are well seen and at night reflective gear is simply a must. You are obliged to display a front white or yellow light and your rear tail light must be red. While using a rear light throughout the day is a good idea, dusk is where you really need to be visible so take extra care to be seen during these times.

• Signal to indicate your intentions. If you are turning left, stay in the left lane. However, take extreme care when turning right. Get used to looking over your right shoulder before moving into the middle of the road and if there is a particular junction or stretch of road, remember there is no shame in getting off the bike until traffic calms and you can proceed.

• Do not ignore stop signs and pay particular care when approaching traffic lights. Bicycles must stop at red lights and follow the same traffic laws as motorists.

• Don’t listen to music or have your headphones in while you are cycling.

• Clear the kerb. If you are stuck to it drivers may be encouraged to overtake you when the space really isn’t there. Keeping clear also prevents you from hitting your pedal off the kerb.

• Always expect the unexpected- cover your brakes to enable you to react quickly to any sudden movements.

• Make eye contact with drivers ensuring they are aware of your presence.

• Trucks and Lorries are notorious for having a huge amount of blind spots. Hang well back and do not try to sneak on their inside to get to the top of the queue.

• Never ride against traffic on the wrong side of the road.

• Wear comfortable flat soled shoes when cycling. This does not include high heels or flip flops. Remember to tuck in any laces so that they will not get entangled with spokes or tyres.

• Take extra care when approaching train tracks especially in bad weather. Try to avoid braking while passing over them as they can be very slippery.

• Leave plenty of space when passing a parked car so as to avoid any unwitting drivers opening their doors into your path.

• Wear protective eyewear so that dust, dirt or flies won’t hamper you while out on a spin.

• Carry ID on you or in your saddle bag containing any medical allergies you may have.