Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Winter Cycling - from a driver's perspective

On Tuesday last week, on that foggy frosty morning, I wasn't cycling , but I did need to get somewhere by car. After scraping the ice of the windshield and then waiting for the car to warm up to get the demistifier into action I was finally on my way.

It was the first time I had been behind the wheel during the morning rush since I had started biking to work a couple of months back, so I was trying to take particular care to watch out for my new fellow cyclists.

What I realised is that driving in rush hour in London is not great and while, trying to peer through a misty windscreen on a foggy morning and negotiate the numerous potholes, it can be easy to miss that cyclist undertaking you on the left (something I frequently do) as you fight for space on the road with the other motors all around.

The point of this post, is that driving in London in the winter especially at rush hour can be quite stressful, so as a cyclist we should do what we can to make sure we are safe. I'm not saying make sure we should all be lit up like a christmas tree, but to ride responsibly  by doing things like maintaining a good road position i.e. not to close to the curb and leaving a some extra space between yourself and the vehicle in front.

I don't want to sound like I am being negative about cycling, I just want cyclists to think from a drivers perspective. I still think cycling is one of the best ways to get around London, regardless of the weather and I encourage everybody I know to try out two wheels.  Actually I think the more drivers who have some experience of cycling, we have on the roads the safer it would be.

As Atticus Finch says in To Kill a Mockingbird "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Winter cycling posts in the blogosphere:
Tips to keep you cycling safely this winter from the London Cyclist
Are you ready to cycle through the winter from ibikelondon
Men in tights from The Trusty Steed


  1. Good post. when cold, driving in poor light or conditions, you are more likely to be focusing more narrowly on those things.

  2. Very good post and I particularly like "the more drivers who have some experience of cycling, we have on [London streets?] the safer it would be." I drive, boris and even (sometimes) use a Strida in the capital as a leisure pursuit and also to learn about the environs. ONE place I do not like to see bikes is on the rural bus-routes on the outer reaches of Greater London where there is no path no kerb and definitely no margin for error.