Keeping Safe on my Bike

I go out of my way to make myself highly visible to cars, especially at night. I only ride with my funky jersey on during sunny/bright days, then to go home I switch to my bright yellow high-vis jersey and reflective gillet. My rucksack has a high-vis cover and I’ve added a red light to it.

Where possible, I stick to the bike lanes. Sometimes this isn’t possible (road conditions, obstructions on the bike lane, that sort of thing), or when the cycle lane is a shared footpath with pedestrians and I’m cycling at 30mph (speed limit on that stretch of road) – I don’t think it’s hugely safe to be flying down a shared pavement (incidentally, this doesn’t happen very often).

My rear & front lights are very bright LEDs, I put them on flash mode during wet weather but otherwise they’re static. I also have some ‘brainy bike lights‘ but currently don’t have space to put them on my road bike so they’re living on my mountain bike for now.

I want to get some lights on my forks and wheels to add to my visibility as I deal with a lot of small roundabouts at night but I’m already highly visible.

As a defence, I also ride with a Garmin VIRB camera on my helmet. I know something will happen to me, cycling in London it’s inevitable. Whatever happens to me, whether it’s my fault or not I want a record. Luckily so far, I’ve been lucky. I’ve had a few squeaky bum moments, like this one

but nothing horrific. Recently, I’ve had a few close moments with drivers making risky moves.

The driver in this clip was ridiculously close to my back wheel and as a result I’ve bough a Cycliq Fly6 rear light & camera combo – if I’d have touched my brakes, or if I reacted to someone stepping out in front of me then this guy wouldn’t have had time to react he was that close. That said, I think the oncoming driver in the red car had a much closer encounter than I did!

This one was a definite squeaky bum moment. The road is wet, the visibility isn’t fantastic so I’m around 23/24mph (on a 30mph road), going down hill (I can easily get up 30mph on the down hill but when the road is wet I don’t risk it). The first car is fine, plenty of space at the traffic island, the second one however…!

All the second driver needed to do was wait a moment for me to clear the island and they had plenty of space. The roads are wide enough there that I’m safely away from the curb and parked cars without having to take primary position, although I think in the future I’m going to have to when it’s wet.

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