Those who use the bicycle to go to work or for daily commissions often find themselves having to pedal in the rush hour.
Such a situation, with long lines of impatient cars, buses and heavy vehicles, can become very dangerous if not dealt with with the right caution and preparation.
Usually, traffic is concentrated between 7 and 9 am and between 5 and 7 pm. Let’s see how to deal with the situations that you encounter more often by pedaling into traffic.
OVERCOMING SLOW VEHICLES
It often happens to be in front of a car that goes very slowly (maybe looking for a car park or not knowing the road or being distracted from the phone). In this case, care must be taken to ensure that you are not subjected to a sharp turn or sharp braking on the vehicle in question.
To overcome the car that is ahead of us, you must first make sure that any speeding vehicles is coming from behind. Then extends your arm to the left by signaling the maneuver and then pedal as fast as possible beyond the slow car. Be careful not to stay on the left side of the road, move to the right as soon as possible.
The presence of heavy vehicles on the roads is very common, but this must not be a deterrent to the use of bicycles. The only recommendation is to stay away from such means as buses, coaches and lorries are often unaware of the presence of a cyclist at their side. This is due not to the wretchedness of the driver, but to the amplitude of the blind corner of the vehicle, which prevents the driver from seeing what is next to him.
OVERCOMING BULKY MEANS
The presence of long and bulky vehicles such as buses is just as common in rush hour. To overcome them it is better to wait for them to stop and to leverage on the greater bike responsiveness compared to the bus.
Obviously, overtaking will only be possible if in the opposite direction there isn’t any cars or other means that force us to strain towards the bus. This maneuver would be very dangerous.
Overtaking should always be properly signaled by extending the left arm and ended as soon as possible.
OVERCOMING OTHER CYCLISTS
In the event you encounter another cyclist walking at a lower speed than your own, you will have to take a maneuver to overtake.
The size of a bicycle is considerably lower than that of a car, a bus or a truck but overcoming it requires attention.
Before widening to the left to overcoming you have to check that there are no cars, otherwise it is likely to spur them. Conversely, if you do not take enough space, the cyclist that you’re going to overcome will get scared and will probably fall to the ground.
The same pattern is valid if you encounter a cyclist that goes in the wrong direction.
Very often, near a crossroads, roundabouts or traffic lights, there is a column of queued cars. In this case, you are obliged to make slalom between the vehicles occupying the right side of the roadway and those that occupy the left side.
You can manage to overcome many cars, but since the row can go back and forth at any time if you do not feel safe or if you can not read the motions of drivers it is better to wait a few minutes.
Squares, sidewalks, pedestrian areas often meet along the bike route. On the one hand, they are “safe areas” because they have no vehicles, but on the other hand there are countless variables that need to be prepared to pay attention to when riding a bicycle (running children, groups of people chatting, dogs on a leash). To be sure to overcome these areas safely, it is best to reduce the speed and drop off the bike.