Sunday, November 13, 2011

5 Things Cyclists Could Do For The Motorists

After I presented my wish-list to the motorists, I felt it's my duty to keep the cyclists side of bargain while helping each other on the road.  Even though I am a minnow to write this post because of the fact that I am just a commuter, far away from the trails where the fun and challenge are at different levels. But still I would like to share my experience, it may help others and I expect riders to point out if I am wrong or incomplete in some parts. It may improve my riding experience too. So here I go:

RHDS: Right Hand Driving System.
LHDS: Left Hand Driving System.

1. What part of the road is mine? 
While sharing the road with other vehicles, try avoiding the fast moving traffic and drive in extreme left (extreme right in the RHDS) lane. Be near to the side but do not drive on the edge of the road. This is because of the simple fact that if someone is coming from behind he will always expect you to move towards edge of the road and many times it's necessary to do so. So prepare in advance and drive somewhat comfortable distance from the edge so as later you can still have sufficient strip of road for yourself. Always avoid driving in the right lane (or left lane in RHDS). 

2. Be seen, be safe
This is by far a cyclist’s responsibility. At crossings, at overtakes, at night and otherwise and it is not a tough a work to be seen on the road. 
  • Whenever crossing the road use hand signals. Give the hand signals prominently and use eye contacts to be sure. Personally I am a fan of eye contacts in Indian roads. 
  • Listen to the traffic and if you think someone is coming from behind, or blowing horn from behind don't hesitate to look back and confirm their position. Ask them to wait if you think it is necessary. Giving signal the vehicles clears a lot of confusions and saves the trouble of honking. 
  • Give side often.
  • Wearing bright clothes in the night is another subtle way.  Blippers can be helpful in the night. I prefer to go without them but they can be useful if it's very dark in the route. 
  • Even cycling helmets also are pretty useful psychological tools for garnering attention of the motorists in the Indian roads.

3. Understand motorists; try being one yourself once in a while
Next time you drive a car or motorcycle keep in a vigil of what you would expect from the cyclists on the road. For example when I was driving my motorcycle a cyclist took a sharp right (in LHDS). Though it was not of dangerous sort and he was in his limits but it created a short moment of uncertainty. As a cyclist help avoid such moments on the road. Sharp movement towards the sides is a strict no no and yeah keep your hands sturdy and no zigging-zagging on the road. Sometimes even a small side movement creates confusion for the fast moving traffic. And yeah lest I miss, no stylo-stunts in the traffic, save them for the backyard or an empty ground.

4. Follow the traffic rules
Even if you are cycling to save the world, you must follow the traffic rules doing so. Breaking the traffic rules can be a source of frustration for other drivers. And lest I miss isn't it "Better late than never"?

5. Share the fun
On the lighter note, I know most of the cyclists enjoy their ride. So why not share the fun. I like to be talkative on the road whenever I get a chance, say while standing at a traffic signal or at parking. Give a smile at times. Sometimes people enquire and comment about the cycles answer with passion and say thank you. If you are one of those witty once you can use witty one liner sometimes. You never know when a lighter moment makes a day for someone. It surely helps people keep notice of cyclists. 

So this is my bit. Hoping for more insights from expert riders and from motorists as well.

Related Posts:
9 Things You Could Do To Promote Cycling Being A Motorist