Ride In A Straight Line

Photo: iStockphoto.com/Ola Dusegård
Bike TO's secrets for cycling in traffic

NOTE: These tips are geared towards downtown cycling, since that is what I am 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.

Don't ride in the gutters and then swing out into the road to avoid the drains. This throws drivers off-guard because they aren't thinking about the drains and aren't expecting you to do this. There is a very good chance you will get honked at if you do this, because nothing scares a driver more than a cyclist swerving in front of their car.

Instead, imagine that the entire length of the road is lined with gutters. Ride at least that far away from the curb. It's hard at first, because you may be afraid of those cars driving beside you, but most drivers will pass you at a safe distance the further you ride out from the curb.

This also applies when there are a lot of parked cars... instead of swerving in towards the curb between parked cars before swerving back out again, keep riding in a straight line... it makes you more predictable to car drivers.

More cycling tips

Drivers Don't Want to Kill You