Advice for motorists from a cyclist – Helen Pidd, author of Bicycle – The Complete Guide to Everyday Cycling
1. Don't see cyclists as the enemy...
...But as someone you love. If that lycra-clad bottom belonged to your wife or your son, would you be driving by so close to them?
2. Look before you open your car door...
...and save a cyclist a trip to A&E. Car doors are one of a cyclist's worst enemies. It's so easy to stop a rider being “doored”: just look behind you before flinging open doors on the driver's side. You'll save your paintwork too.
3. Give bikes space...
..instead of pushing them up against the kerb. Rather than getting cross when a cyclist is in the middle of a lane, be glad that you can see them. The modern cycling proficiency test teaches cyclists to position themselves towards the middle of a lane rather than towards the gutter, for maximum visibility.
4. Don't honk!
...Chances are, it will simply scare a cyclist and quite possibly cause them to lurch in to your path. And be honest: are you warning them of imminent danger or just being impatient? You won't have to wait long to overtake safely.
5. Keep back from Advance Stop Lines
You know that section of road in front of traffic lights with the little bicycle painted in it? That's a clue: it's for cyclists, not motorists, and you could be fined for edging into the zone. Allowing cyclists the chance to get ahead of cars lessens the chance of you not seeing them and perhaps turning left right into their path.
And finally: Get on your bike...
...And see how it feels to be on the other side. The best cyclists are very often drivers. That's because they know how difficult it can be for cars and lorries to see them and position themselves accordingly. It works the other way around too. A driver who appreciates a the vulnerability of a cyclist is far less likely to hit one.
Advice from celebrities about the best place to cycle a mile
• Fashion designer Wayne Hemingway: “I love the one mile route from my home to West Wittering Beach ...green fields, deer, coastal paths, boats, sand dunes, Chichester Harbour.”
• Fashion designer Giles Deacon: “I love cycling over Westminster Bridge in the early morning, watching the Thames and London’s iconic skyline fly past.”
• Actress Gemma Atkinson: “I love to cycle around Clumber Park. It’s a fantastic National Forest with many bike trails from 1 mile up to 10 miles. It’s fantastic scenery so it makes exercising a lot more fun!”
• TV presenter Dawn Porter: “My favourite place to cycle in London is over a bridge, any bridge, before 7am. It feels like London is all yours.”
• Chris Boardman, Olympic Champion and World Record holder “This year everyone, from cycling newbies to cycling pros, can get involved in Samsung Bike Week and help raise much needed money for some fantastic charities – what better incentive to get back in the saddle this summer. I’ll be cycling my favourite mile from my home in West Kirby, along the Wirral Way to Ashton Park with my youngest kids".