Posted: 30 Nov 2013
Riding a motorcycle in the city centre can vary hugely to riding on motorways and open roads in the countryside, however if you choose to commute to work in a city coping with built-up traffic is part of everyday riding and the benefits can be vast.
Those who choose two wheels to commute to work every day may cut costs, time and pollution, which is great for bank balances and the environment, so here’s a few tips to ensure that you stay safe while saving:
Often when riding in a city centre you won’t have the choice to go fast because the gridlocked traffic will prevent it. However, when a small gap does appear there is the temptation to nip through quickly; chances are though if you’ve seen it then a car driver may have too and will aim to close it as quickly as possible. Slow down, take your time and watch out. By doing everything slower you will leave more time to think about your (and other people’s) decisions; which also increases the amount of time you have to react to them.
Imagine that every car driver in their air-conditioned, waterproof box hasn’t seen you and anticipate this when thinking of making a manoeuvre. By anticipating they are going to make a mistake, you ensure you’re not in their way if they do.
Gone are the days of riding round multi-storey car parks looking for a space, as motorcyclists are often treated to designated parking bays, usually at the entrance to car parks. It’s worth remembering, the costs are usually less too. Ensure you take a chain and lock with you too so that you can secure your motorcycle at your location. If it’s a prolonged stop or the weather is particularly bad then think about taking a cover too to make sure you don’t have to sit on a wet seat on the journey home.
One of the major advantages of being on a motorcycle in the city is that you can filter in-between traffic at lights or in queues. This should be done cautiously: watch out for cars swapping lanes, car doors opening, car mirrors, people who are far over near the white line and sudden movements by other drivers. Don’t filter too fast either so that you have enough time to react if anything changes.
With more traffic on the road than out in the country, lights and paint work can all merge into one for other road users. Therefore make sure you have reflective clothing on such as a hi-vis vest or reflective piping on your jacket to ensure you are seen.
Thinking of Riding in the City?