Cycling Etiquette is the third part of our new blog series, Girl on a Bike Blog, aimed at encouraging women to cycle
As part of Navan Bike Fest, we are delighted to bring you ‘Girl on a Bike’, a new series of blog posts from Navan Cycling Initiative member Asia Gurtman which will run throughout Bike Week, which runs from 12-18 September (see the introduction here)
To fully enjoy the cycling experience, we need to put safety as a priority. The Rules of the Road are for all road users and are designed to help reduce road danger by ensuring consistent, courteous behaviour between everyone who uses roads and paths. Some rules are formal and covered by the Road Traffic Act, while some behaviours requirements are described according to the conventions of cycling community that encourage a positive attitude and emphasises the importance of a cooperative spirit.
Let’s highlight some.
Hand signals are a vital way to communicate and let other people on the road know what you are doing. Use clear hand signals to help other people predict your movements and give you space. There are three official hand signals.
- Extend your left arm and hand to signal that you are going to turn or move left.
- Extend your right arm and hand to signal that you are going to turn or move right.
- Extend your right arm and raise your forearm and hand to signal that you are going to stop
Use the correct hand signal for at least three seconds before you start your manoeuvre to allow other users to notice your intentions in time.
Use cycling lanes
Remember that cycling in a pedestrianised street or area is an offence (unless when signposted for cyclists). Use cycling lanes as much as possible – they are your best friend. Watch out for parked cars, cars turning left or cars merging onto the road. Reduce your speed when passing a parked car and please watch out for car doors – all of a sudden a parked car door can open. Keep a moderate speed on cycling lane, and if you wish to cycle faster – please use the road.
When passing others or taking turns, always do so with care. Be mindful of your surroundings. Only you will know what feels safe and what doesn’t when sharing the road with other users. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t take a chance. Stop and wait for another safe opportunity.
Stop means stop
When you come to a stop sign or traffic light always stop behind the cars and other cyclists. Don’t be tempted to squeeze between cars and make your way to the front. Be patient . You will pass eventually when everyone starts moving again. [note: it is also ok to filter up the inside or outside if it is safe to do so and if you feel comfortable doing it. Filtering is just one of the many advantages of cycling].
Don’t be shy
Always say hello! It’s very nice to be a part of a cycling community. When passing other cyclist and traffic isn’t too busy, always try to say “hello”, or when you see a group of cyclists having a break, don’t hesitate to join them for a small chat, you will be very welcome!
View the other posts from the Girl on a Bike Blog Series below:
- How to Get a Bike
- Bike Equipment – what is essential and what is good to have
- Cycling Etiquette – Safety on Cycling Lanes and on the Road
- Cycling routes around Navan area with coffee places that are cycling friendly 😉
Keep an eye out for each of the above blog posts coming over each day of Bike Week, which runs from the 12-18 of September, and see more on our main Navan Bike Fest page.