Urban riding tips on MCN

Article on MCN site.

Tips on urban riding, surely these are just standard riding techniques regardless of location?

Anyway, what would you have as your tips on urban riding? I reckon we would be in a better place to comment than a bunch of journos in Peterboghorror :wink:


I’ll kick off with a couple:

Bus lanes & junctions - watch for vehicles turning through stationary traffic across the bus lane.

Oil in the middle of the lane at traffic lights.

Traffic light jumping, epidemic in London IMHO.

My number 1 tip would be very wary of bus lanes. I go to loads of bike accidents on buslanes - mostly as mentioned above where cars turn through gaps. People let them through and they rush and assume its clear.

Keep your vision up also for things like potholes and drain covers, so you don’t have to take last-moment evasive action when you do encounter them.

I was born and raised in Peterborough :angry: but hey, there’s a reason I now live in London :wink: :smiley:

As for my tip, when following behind anything large (bus, lorry etc), if the lane is wide enough I sit out far enough that I can see the driver in his/her wing mirror, that way I know he can see me.

I’m rapidly learning to watch mirrors like your life depends on it…as I guess it frequently does!

On a 125 definitely true, on a sports bike they’re generally getting further away anyway… :smiley:

Taxi drivers parked on the side… have a big tendency to do u turns especially when near a taxi rank.

number 1 tip for riding anywhere - You are invisible and made of glass

Number 2 tip - Be Smoooooooooth

Number 3 tip - There is no point in being right if you’re dead

You’re right… what has ‘a bare open road’ got to do with urban riding :blink:…

U-turning vehicles is one of the biggies.

…but there is one hazard that I have experienced and it is unfortunately more common than you might expect…car drivers purposely trying to drive into you. There are some psychos out there. One that sticks in my head was a black fiat punto with go-faster stripes. It was late at night in a poorly lit road in Brixton. The car emerged from a line of parked cars on my left as I approached. To the right was a traffic island- he chose to go the wrong side of it. He drove straight at me on the wrong the side of the road at full pelt…with no lights on. I had to offside the traffic island to avoid getting hit and I honestly think if it wasn’t for the island he would have swerved to try to make contact. They were coming out of a party of some sort going on in someones front garden and I reckon it was a show-off-to-the-gang sort of thing. Needless to say I don’t go that way at night anymore.