Rule 1 : The rule of weight .
The average family car weighs over 1200kg. The average bike weighs 8kg .
Head to head the bike will be squashed like a fly under a doc martin boot when it comes in direct contact with a car. Even if you are totally in the right and the car is totally in the wrong forget it, you will never win in a head to head confrontation.
Rule 2 : The rule of stupidity.
As a cyclist whenever you approach a roundabout or a junction or anywhere a driver can perform any kind of stupid manoeuvre in a car, van or truck assume that they will. Always try to make eye contact with the driver. If you don’t, you can assume they don’t see you and be prepared to take evasive action .
The same applies to fellow cyclists. Presume they are all colour blind at traffic lights and deaf, also called suffering ipoditis, when passing them from behind.
Rule 3 : The rule of noise.
Your voice is your horn and should only have one tone. It should sound like an inoffensive word like ‘hey’ or ‘whoa’. This will attract the attention of a driver who does not see you but rarely antagonise them if used in moderation.
If a driver blows their horn at you assume they are being nice , either saying hello or letting you know they are coming past for your safety. There may also be the possibility that you did something stupid so take that on the chin too.
Rule 4 : The rule of responsibility.
You are responsible for your own safety on the road.
When in a group whenever you are at the front you are responsible for the safety of all those behind. Approaching roundabouts or traffic lights always drop the pace to a level where the whole group can stop if necessary. Whilst the first 4 or 6 riders may get through safely, if there are thirty riders behind you always err on the side of caution .
Rule 5 : The rule of the jersey.
There are so many custom clothing manufacturers nowadays that all clubs have full sets of winter and summer gear. Many companies and businesses also have custom clothing. When wearing club clothing you are representing all members of the club as well as all sponsors who have contributed to the club coffers and whose names are in full view on your jersey. All types of confrontations with other road users should be avoided. Treat everyone the same way you would if you were walking around your place of work in your civvies. Lycra clothing is not a license to be aggressive with other road users.
Rule 6 : The rule of keeping calm.
A guy who suffered from bouts of road rage once told me how he got passed an affliction that once landed him in court. A friend of his who is so laid back he is almost horizontal told him one simple rule. ‘If you have a choice to be right or to be kind always be kind’. So what if someone cuts you up or pulls out in front of you. Let them off and be happy knowing that you did something nice
Rule 7 : The rule of enjoyment.
Cycling is an extremely healthy way to travel. Out there on the open road with the wind at your back and the sun shining down on you whilst moving at the perfect speed to take in the view of your surroundings. What could be better ? Enjoy it and be happy and don’t let any other road user or yourself affect your enjoyment !