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Cycle safety tips

Cycle safety tips

Cyclists on a rural track

Safety on the roads is a key concern for many cyclists, particularly for parents of younger children. York has always been a pretty safe place to cycle, with ever increasing numbers of cyclists in the city meaning that other road users are much more aware of their presence.

Confident, safe cycling not only comes through experience but from good basic training. We offer personalised one-to-one Urban Cycling sessions suitable for all ages and abilities, whether you are a complete novice or just need a refresher.

Our top tips for safe cycling

  • Cycle at a steady pace about one metre away from the kerb, so that you can anticipate and respond to road situations easily. This is called the secondary position. Riding too close to the kerb or parked cars puts yourself at more risk, and encourages drivers to squeeze by. Experienced cyclists often take what is called the primary position, placing themselves further out, directly in front of traffic, where road conditions dictate that drivers can't overtake them safely.
  • Make eye contact with other road users at junctions and crossings: make sure that they've seen you.
  • Be predictable and confident on the road so that all road users are aware of you.
  • Be visible: wear bright, light coloured clothes and always use good lights and reflective gear at night.
  • Be heard: use your bell to let other road users and pedestrians know that you're approaching.
  • Never cycle on pavements or through red lights: it's against the law and gives cyclists a bad name.
  • Consider wearing a helmet.

Respecting other road users

  • Always be aware of pedestrians, particularly on shared cycle/pedestrian paths, and give them time to move out of the way.
  • Don’t forget that older people, young children and disabled people might not see or hear you as you approach them on your bike.

The Highway Code, is essential reading for all road users. It explains the laws that cyclists must obey for everyone’s safety, and offers further useful advice.

Lighting up

Riding without lights, or without adequate lights, in dark conditions puts yourself and other road users at risk, as well as being against the law.

Be safe around HGVs

Be safe around HGVs and buses: stay back behind longer vehicles when they are turning left, or move ahead in front of them, never alongside.