Everyone who is on the road is on a mission, and you are NOT on their priority list. Let that thought sink in for a moment. Everyone has an agenda when they start their engine – whether its to get to work, home again after a hard day at work, visiting a friend, the doctor or dentist, picking up the kids or to ‘clear my head’. YOU simply don’t show up on their radar.
As you ride along expect every side road or intersection to have someone coming through without checking properly or for them to assume it will be clear for them to pull out like it usually is (in their mind).
So as you ride down ANY and EVERY road…
- Check your mirrors so you know who is behind you and scan EVERY side street.
- Be prepared to brake.
- If you see someone in their car assume you have not been seen – especially if you cant see the driver of the car and if you are not sure if they will stop, set up your brakes to reduce your reaction time by just touching the front brake lever. This also activates your brake lights and lets anyone behind you know you are slowing down.
Next consider your position to create a buffer of space between you and them and thirdly look for an escape route in case they pull out and you are too close to stop maybe the pavement? Maybe the road they just came from?
Keep at least 3 seconds behind any vehicle at any speed on a dry road, and double that in the wet. This way you should have enough time to think about stopping, react to their movement, move your hand and foot and brake if you need to. More space equals more time and more chance to stay safe.
If we ride with a safe buffer or bubble of space around us all the time so we always have time to stop or evade hazards we are more likely to arrive home safely having enjoyed our ride out.