Question: Would you feel confident to cycle safely in Scotland? 

Results:

Yes 18% (5 respondents) No 82% ( 23 respondents)

Your comments: 

Do you have any top tips for cycling safely in Scotland?

 

“Stick to cycle paths where they are available and always follow the Highway Code i.e. don’t undertake slow moving vehicles or skip lights when they aren’t at green.”

“Be courteous and visible. Don’t cycle on the pavement. Don’t assume people can hear you approaching from behind even if you sound your bell.”

“As someone affected by deafness I would suggest using cycle paths and recognising walkers have needs too. Perhaps we need a “cycleway code!”

“I used to cycle all the time until my disability ( mobility) made me stop. Many other road users however can make it difficult to cycle by not giving you space. I would not have been so keen to cycle if I could not have heard the traffic behind me.”

“Invest not just in high-visibility vests and/or equipment but also invest in equipping your bicycle with an AirZound Airhorn which can produce sound at 120db as well as a bell.”

“Separate cycle paths. Where cyclists share public paths I find them appearing suddenly because of the added speed they are capable of. I think both the cyclist and walkers would feel safer if they had separate paths. As for wheelchair users, life is hard enough to negotiate without the addition of bicycle traffic.”

I used an adapted recumbent trike which by definition is low to the ground but as with any type of cycling and any type of cycle the most essential safety tip is to BE SEEN!

1) Use a dayglo reflective vest, use a bright coloured marker flag, use very bright day time LED lights in flashing mode (constant at night), have big reflectors front and rear, use spoke reflectors and if you use panniers use dayglo reflective covers. Remember many rural areas of Scotland do not have street lights!

2) Don’t forget a good quality approved cycle helmet or preferably a snow sports helmet with greater impact absorption than a standard cycle helmet which also give better side protection! Don’t forget waterproofs, good grip boots or shoes and gloves (for grip and protection – lighter gloves for warm weather, insulated for winter). Eye protection is also advisable all year round no matter what the weather – use the right lens for the right condition, day, night and fog. Face/nose/mouth protection is also advisable not just from dust and pollution but also flying insects and are also good on cold damp days!

3) Know the Highway Code not just for cyclists but all road users! Know your road positions and the hazards of cycling in traffic.

4) Communicate to other road users and pedestrians of your in tensions – know you arm signals!

5) Make sure your ride is safe and roadworthy, well maintained, lubricated, tightened, properly adjusted for you, ensure your tyres are at the correct pressure, not split or damaged in any way and that your brakes work effectively and no cables or pipes are damaged. I’d you are not sure or able ensure someone is! Cycles can be serviced by your local dealer if needed! Make sure you carry the basic tools and spares and know how to use them in the event of a puncture, snapped cable, snapped chain link, etc.

6) Know your route and plan your journey.

7) Be observant of other road users and pedestrians. Learn to anticipate their next move. Take note of their positions.

8) Allow yourself plenty of room. Do NOT ride in the gutter! Do not ride too far out or close to the cycle or vehicle in front of you. Make sure you know what is behind and to the side of you at all times, rear view mirrors are easy to fix and save neck turning and associated balance problems.

9) Do not be distracted – do not wear headphones or Bluetooth devices!

10) Be aware and cautious in built up areas with side roads. Be aware of unpredictable movements of children and unleashed dogs. Be aware of parked vehicles, opening vehicle doors and vehicles pulling away from the kerb. Be aware of hidden junctions – hidden by vegetation, buildings, street furniture or illegally parked vehicles. Be aware of single track roads and vehicles on the wrong side! Use passing places correctly and know the priorities of road users in terms of slopes.”