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Email:suffolkroadsafe@suffolk.gov.uk

Adult and Family Cyclists

Cycling is a superb way of getting some fresh air, maintaining fitness levels, and enjoying the countryside.  Its popularity for commuting to work is on the increase, as are the number of families who take to the highways and byways at the weekend.

Adult cyclists can undertake Level 3 Bikeability training, via local trainers (http://bikeability.dft.gov.uk/near-you/), which will refresh their skills and help them to cycle positively on urban journeys. 

It is hoped that adult cyclists will set a good example to younger cyclists.  

Some hints for adults cycling with their children:

  • Be VISIBLE, CONFIDENT, and clearly INDICATE what you intend to do.

  • Ensure that your children are close enough to you so that you can talk to them, coaching them in what they should be doing.

  • Wearing a hi-viz jacket or bib can increase the cyclists’ visibility to other road users.

  • Keep an eye on your children – a single adult cyclist should, for the majority of the time, have the children cycling in front. When there are two adults cycling then the adults should ride one at the front, one at the back. An exception to the rule comes when you are arriving at a junction or roundabout, when the adult should overtake and ensure that the children stop at the correct point.

  • Road Position: The children should be encouraged to cycle far enough away from the kerb to miss drain covers and debris. The adult following the children should cycle slightly further out into the road, ensuring that drivers can easily see them.

  • When passing parked cars riders will need to be a door width away. As you come up to the parked vehicles, ensure that there are no cars close behind – have a GOOD look behind – and then the adult cyclist should change their position to ‘claim the lane’ and then tell the children to move away from the parked cars.

  • When approaching traffic islands, or ‘pinch points’, where there is not room for a cyclist and a car to safely pass each other, once again check behind and, if it is safe to do so, move into the centre of the lane - taking what is called the ‘primary position’ (basically, for a short while, hog the lane).  Once passed the pinch point, return to the original riding position.

  • Do NOT tuck yourself tightly into the kerb.  Drivers often take that as an invitation to squeeze past rather than wait until there is a safer place to overtake.

  • Don’t be afraid to get off the bikes and walk across the road.  A right turn from a major road into side road may involve holding your children between 2 rows of moving traffic, and can be quite intimidating.  The easy option is to ride past the junction, stop at the kerb, and then cross the major road as pedestrians.  You can then restart your journey from the kerb in the side road.

  • Politeness is immensely powerful!  Thank drivers who give you space and allow you to undertake maneuvers.  A wave and a smile go a long way to making the road a more pleasant place to cycle.

  • The Road Safety Team recommends the wearing of correctly fitted helmets, for both adults and children.

Please contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or would like help with planning a journey, or if you would like to arrange a course of family cycling.