Practice Your Route

Photo: Airnos on Flickr
10 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic: A 10 part series by Biking TO - Part 10

Today we finish a series of 10 posts about cycling with car traffic. These are things we have learned from years of riding in downtown Toronto.

Some of these tips you may have seen before in other places, and some will be new.This is not meant to be a complete list... there are more secrets out there... but here are 10 that you'll find very useful.

NOTE:
These are geared towards downtown cycling, since that's what I'm most familiar with. These all assume that you already know about proper lighting and safety (i.e. helmets are useful, stopping at red lights is advised, etc.) precautions, and know that riding on sidewalks is one of the most unsafe things you can do, for both pedestrians and yourself.
Past tips are found at the bottom of this post.

Tip 10: Practice Your Route

The most important thing you can do to make yourself comfortable on the roads is to bike a lot. You'll become more and more comfortable the more experience you have out there.

The more you can get out and get experience on roads with cars, the better. Not only will you become more comfortable out there, but you'll get to know the areas where cars/drivers behave in certain ways.

For example, I have a 10 km route to work, and I know through lots of repetition of this route where cars tend to slow down and speed up where I have to be extra-vigilant and careful due to drivers thinking they can pass me safely when they can't.

I didn't know all of this right away... it's only because I take this route often that I've become familiar with it.

Thanks for reading our 10 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic. Feel free to comment on any of the posts (linked below) if you want to give feedback or have things to add to the tips (or even have entirely new tips that we should add to this series of posts).
Past Posts in this Series:

Tip 1: Drivers Don't Want to Kill You

Tip 2: Ride in a Straight Line

Tip 3: Play by the Rules

Tip 4: Avoid the "Stoplight Squeeze"

Tip 5: Signal Sensibly

Tip 6: Take the Lane

Tip 7: Make Them THINK You're Unpredictable

Tip 8: Ride With Others

Tip 9: Avoid the Right Hook

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secrets to cycling with traffic