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Cycling to work


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#16 ChewderOde

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:07 AM

While you should definitely be respectful of motorists, the vast majority of whom pass you at a decent distance and don't immediately then turn left, there is no direct link between vehicle excise duty (not road tax) and the funding of roads.

Some cyclists get a bit worked up about the allegation they pay no road tax:
http://ipayroadtax.com/


well from my experience cycling there are a fair few, not the majority, but a fair few who have scant regard for other people on the roads and some appear to be on a crusade to hack everyone off and who seem to think they are holier than thou - which gives us cyclists a bad reputation - and creates antagonism - so I think its only right to give motorists - who invest in road tax, insurance etc some respect as a general outlook

#17 Mobsy

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:27 PM

Moc,

According to the highway code :

Road junctions

72

On the left. When approaching a junction on the left, watch out for vehicles turning in front of you, out of or into the side road. Just before you turn, check for undertaking cyclists or motorcyclists. Do not ride on the inside of vehicles signalling or slowing down to turn left.


en reaching the roundabout you should
•give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
•check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way. If so, proceed, but still look to the right before joining
•watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all
•look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off





186

Signals and position.

When taking the first exit to the left, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
•signal left and approach in the left-hand lane
•keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave

When taking an exit to the right or going full circle, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
•signal right and approach in the right-hand lane
•keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout
•signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want

When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise
•select the appropriate lane on approach to the roundabout
•you should not normally need to signal on approach
•stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout
•signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want

When there are more than three lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach and through it.


The entire highway code - plus alot of helpful advise can be found at : Highway Code

#18 K_H

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:09 AM

Just to add my ha'pennyworth to the clothing question: I agree it's mostly personal choice but I do think lightweight and comfortable trumps warm. Even on chilly days the exercise warms me up in about 10 minutes and I usually consider myself overdressed after half an hour - especially if it's raining and I've got a waterproof jacket on. My advice would be to splash out (maybe £30) on a synthetic top that wicks away sweat and lets it evaporate, rather than any old cotton t-shirt which just gets damp. Someone in a cycle shop should be able to point you in the direction of wicking tops.

Oh and waterproof jacket - something thin and highly visible. I think I spent £50 on mine six years ago but it's still going strong.

Good luck to you - it's quite addictive commuting to work and not dangerous if you keep your eyes peeled and never pass any sizeable vehicle on the inside.

#19 moc

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:25 PM

Thanks Mobsy and KH. Thats what I was thinking about the clothes issue - I dont want to arrive at work all hot and sweaty if I can help it. Equally, I dont want to freeze to death :D

Mobsy, I'm familiar with the highway code as I've been driving since 1997. I guess I'm asking from the cyclists point of view, which I am not familiar with, and I dont want to make stupid mistakes that could put me at risk on the road - is it better for cyclists to go right on roundabouts in the left-hand lane all way round, and should cyclists give way to cars turning left ahead of them (I would have thought so, but in practice it doesnt seem to happen).
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#20 K_H

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:55 PM

I guess I'm asking from the cyclists point of view, which I am not familiar with, and I dont want to make stupid mistakes that could put me at risk on the road - is it better for cyclists to go right on roundabouts in the left-hand lane all way round, and should cyclists give way to cars turning left ahead of them (I would have thought so, but in practice it doesnt seem to happen).


Me again - I have to admit I'm not chapter and verse on the Highway Code (although I always stop at red lights and zebra crossings with people on them, that's just good manners AND a chance to get your breath back). I tend to treat each roundabout on an ad hoc basis. If it's a giant gyratory like Hyde Park Corner then there's plenty of time to get in the correct lane and the traffic signals break up the circuit. On a proper roundabout I think more often than not I stick to the left-hand lane purely because there wouldn't be much time to make the appropriate hand signals and change lane if I did it by the book. Obviously this means you do have to keep an eagle eye out for traffic from the right, and stop to let them go left if they want as you are technically in the wrong lane.

I'm making this sound much more complicated than it is though - I think very soon you get a feel for the volume of traffic and whether it's safer at each junction to go by the book or do things your way. Just make sure you're visible, make really clear hand gestures and assume someone hasn't noticed you if you're not sure.

#21 moc

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 08:27 AM

Thanks KH for all the good advice. I'm prob overthinking the whole thing, so am just going to biteth bullet and get out there and do it when I come back from holiday! Thanks again B)
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#22 moc

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:05 AM

Am on my 3rd week of cycling to work now... and loving it! :D

I had thought about a second hand bike that was cheap to buy and I could easily re-sell if I didn't like it, but in the end bought a new road bike with flat handle-bar (I tried the drop handles but that riding position felt really weird to me!), from Decathlon (2 yr warranty and free 6 month service). I know I have been very lucky with the weather the last few weeks... even today is very mild, perfect riding weather. I'm afraid I had to resort to some lycra padded shorts, as the saddle is HARD :ph34r: But hopefully my backside is starting to get used to it now. Bizarrely, riding my bike to work takes me 40 mins, whereas riding in on my scooter takes 35 mins... :blink: Am obviously a bit fitter than I thought!
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#23 K_H

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 01:58 PM

That's brilliant news moc! Glad you're enjoying it. The weather has been amazing but to be honest I'm looking forward to some proper crisp Autumn mornings - my favourite cycling weather!