Riding out into traffic for the first time can be overwhelming. Why not walk the route first? It might be the same route you drive or bus, but on foot you will get a better idea of the hazards you’ll face on a bike. You might even discover shortcuts or quieter streets that you would have missed.
Here are some things to look out for while you walk:
- Bike lanes - are there any on your route? Make a note of where they start and end, and when you’ll need to rejoin the road.
- Speed limits - Keep an eye on changes along your route.
- Sharrows - Are there any sharrows on your journey? These will tell you when to claim the lane.
- Turns - Where will you need to make a turn? Focus on 200m before the turn, this is where you’ll need to position yourself. For example, do you need to change lanes? If changing lanes is too intimidating can you hop off and walk across a pedestrian crossing?
- Buses - Are you riding on a bus route? Staying aware of buses will help you feel prepared when they pass.
Try walking it out this weekend so you feel ready to give it a go during the week. There may be some spots where you’re not confident to cycle yet, but it’s fine to get off and walk until you’ve got the hang of it.