Bicycles

Bikes provide an environmentally intelligent way to travel short distances.

bicycleWe have a duty to ensure that our civic planners include dedicated bicycle paths in all future planning.

We cannot wait for town planners to become environmentally aware of their own accord. We can and must act.

Bikes are also great fun and a healthy way to get fit.

In the United Kingdom the sustrans network and projects such as the round berkshire cycle route are taking great first steps.

The sustrans project doubled total cycle journeys taken from 60 to 120 million bike rides in just the first three years of the millennium.

However, while cyclists are forced to share the road with cars, people will never turn to bikes in massive numbers.

A manifesto for Bicycles

Cars are simply too dangerous to share the road with. Since calling for a car ban is not a realistic proposal in today's world we must isolate bicycles from the dangers of other road users.

Cycle lanes must be integrated and given higher status.

Act now. Find out about road building in your area and then demand your right to safely ride your bicycle along those roads.

Use the cycle paths that are already in place but when on standard roads follow the advice below to ensure your safety. the other benefit is considerate safe cycling helps prevent demonisation by the automotive lobby.

Follow traffic laws. Many cyclists feel that the rules of the road don't apply to them. Don't run red lights. Don't cycle at night without proper bicycle lights.

Ride predictably. Please cycle in a way that's similar to the way a well-behaved driver should drive his or her car, while keeping in mind the limitations that you are riding a much smaller, lighter, slower machine than they are driving.

ALWAYS signal before turning. To signal a turn, you stick out your arm, left arm for left turn, right arm for right turn. It's a good idea idea to point your fingers as well to make it even clearer.

Be vigilant at all times. Never plug in your headphones while cycling. I know it is great to strap a mini mp3 player to your arm and listen to great tunes as you cycle, but if you cannot hear approaching cars, the chances of an accident increase tenfold. For the same reason you should never wear a helmet that interferes with your ability to hear.

Wear reflective clothing at all times. Any car driver will tell you that without reflective clothing and lights you are practically invisible to them.

Assume the worst. If a driver hasn't signaled be prepared for the fact that he may turn anyway. Think ahead for your own safety and assume the worst of all drivers.

Road rules for roundabouts. Traffic already in the roundabout has priority over traffic entering the roundabout. So when you're waiting to enter the roundabout, you have to wait until there's a gap sufficiently big for you to get into the roundabout, up to full speed, and well on your way before the car reaches you. If there isn't, then wait. If there are people waiting at two different entrances to the roundabout, the vehicle to the right has priority.

If you have dropped handlebars, it is harder to make proper turn signals, and especially to hold a turn signal while braking. Think carefully about the bike you ride.

Helmets: If despite all this a car hits you, there is a serious chance you will die. Wearing a cycle helmet cuts those odds considerably. Wear a bicycle helmet.