New regulations have been introduced in South Australia that require a passing motor vehicle to maintain a gap of 1.5m when overtaking a cyclist on a road with a speed limit of greater than
60km/h and 1m for roads with a limit of 60km/h or less.
This has caused much anxiety amongst car drivers with an unhealthy "them" versus "us" discussion that exploded amongst most news and social media.
So if you are about to head to the hills for that weekend spin or simply get on the road to ride to work, what are 3 skills that you need to master so that you give yourself the best chance to arrive as safely as possible?
360 degree Awareness of Road Traffic
Whether you are riding alone or with others it is always your personal responsibility to be aware of all road traffic. Not only traffic in front and behind, but also to your left and right.
In fact the full 360 degrees of awareness is required.
Understand your Riding Situation in the "Context" of other road users
Riding on the road involves continually changing circumstances. Speed, visibility, number of road users, wet roads and debris are just some of the variables that are encountered.
Not only have a clear idea what your purpose and circumstance at any given time, but you also need to understand as best as possible the context of the other road users.
You need to get into the mind of others, without forgetting that their actions are the key and respond to what the road user is doing and not what you are expecting to happen.
Unfortunately, always being in the right does not give immunity to injury on the road.
Visibility comes first. Reflective devices, lighting and light coloured clothing if appropriate.
Both verbal and non verbal, clear communication is vital.
Signal your intentions, take your appropriate space on the road, make eye contact, thank others with a wave and scream at those who have done the wrong thing.
It is no coincidence that these skills are equally important for all road users and not just cyclists. The road is to be shared with respect for all.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Gaggini is founder of Adelaide Cycling Academy and owner of Infuga Retreat. As a cycling coach Robert brings years of experience to a wide range of Cycling Activities.
Winner of multiple cycle races including Mt Gambier 100mile classic 2005, and Alphutte 2003, (4th in 2012). Participant in a variety of endurance events including Paris-Brest-Paris, and is a 40km per day commuter for over 20 years.
If you require any assistance with training plans, cycle coaching or if you just want to ride faster, Robert is happy to assist.