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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Top Tips for Safer Cycling

We like to think that you are out there cycling safely. Transport for London agrees with us and have published this great advice.

Top Tips for Safer Cycling

Be alert

Be aware that there are blind spots all around large vehicles. It's often safer to hang back.

Pay attention to what's going on around you and what other road users might do.

Make eye contact with drivers so you are sure they have seen you.

Get seen

Wear bright clothing in the day and reflective clothing or accessories at night.

Use lights after dark - white at front and red at rear. You may be fined £30 if you don't have them.

Use appropriate hand signals when making a left or right turn.

Consider wearing a helmet.

Be in the right place

Ride assertively, away from the gutter. If the road's too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it may be safer to ride in the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking.

Ride in a straight line past parked cars, rather than dodge between them, and allow at least a full door's width between you in case a car door opens suddenly .

Waiting at traffic lights

Wait in front of other vehicles at traffic lights by using the advanced stop line for cyclists, if there is one.

Don't ride through red traffic lights. You may be fined £30.

Cycling in colder weather

Cycling in winter can be as easy and safe as it is in the summer months.

Invest in a lightweight waterproof jacket and non-slip gloves - they'll keep you warm and dry in rain, sleet or snow.

Consider mudguards, waterproof trousers and shoe covers as more water can come up off a wet road than down from the sky.

Wear breathable layers that you can take off and put on as the weather changes.

Regularly clean and oil your bike chain to keep your bike running smoothly and remember to check your brakes and tyres.

Carry a spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers (in case you have a puncture) and make sure you know how to use them.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Invigorating Electric Bike Ride

The hard frost this morning made me wonder if today really was the day to be out test riding electric bikes. The sun was shining brightly though, and by lunch time most of the frost was gone from the sunny side of the lawn.

It was really nice that there were two of us out riding today, usually it's just me on my lonesome. It was exactly the right time of day to be out. The sunshine was beautiful and really made a difference to the temperature.

We were out looking for some rough tracks to really put the bikes through their paces. We found an unsurfaced road with loads of little potholes all close together. It was actually rather fun to ride over them.

I bounced along giggling as the bike found some strange harmonic that made it seem like it was prancing across the ground. Considering the fact that the ground here was still covered in frost I was very impressed with the sure footedness of the bike. Despite the bouncing it didn't falter once and felt very stable.

Our rough track test over we rode back through the park. Hylands House was magnificent in the winter sun and the parkland trees very statuesque against the blue sky.