READER REPORT:

A survival guide for cyclists

CONNOR STEVENS
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013

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Connor Stevens shares some tips to keep cyclists safe on our roads. 

Firstly, to be safe while cycling you must be as bright and as noticeable as possible with bright colored riding gear, a hi-vis vest, anything but a black helmet.

On an open high-way with no cars up to 200m ahead, I would be riding in the middle of the lane, making use of the least worn part of the road for grip and traction.

In slower areas such as suburbia and passing through towns, the best place to be is the right-hand wheel track, of the left-hand lane. In this position you are more visible to both directions of traffic, as opposed to being tucked in to the left-hand track where the car in front generally won't see you until it's too late and traffic coming the other way will have little idea either as at a glimpse they only register a car coming the other way. You need to be as noticeable as possible, while at the same time believing you are invisible.

Always, always have an exit strategy in any situation. Look for all hazards and be prepared for ones you can't see. Constantly scan around, taking the safest path, but also looking for alternatives. I was once lane-splitting in slow moving traffic when the car in front braked suddenly. Fortunately, having placed myself in the right-hand wheel track and scanning ahead, a made a quick manoeuvre around the car, briefly touching the median, then back safely in to the lane.

Finally, more for first time riders, bike-choosing is really important. Out of all the great things modern bikes have to offer, one basic requirement is get a bike that you, yourself, on your own, can pickup off of the road and back to standing. You never want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, because for all the power the bike had, it's too heavy to lift up without help and you're stuck. They say that most will fall off/crash within the first 18 months of riding.


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