Urban survival – know your enemy

Meet the five forces of disaster that you're up against

Urban riding

Okay – we know these folk aren't our enemies really. We all drive cars, most of us ride bikes, and we all walk places too (when we're drunk usually). And, of course, taxi & bus drivers are, generally, professionals with extra training and experience.

But when you're riding in town, these five forces of disaster are what you're up against. The general rule is to use your bike's advantages of small size, superb acceleration and nimble handling to give everything else a wide berth, and get on your way. Here's what to watch for from them, and how to avoid their worst excesses…

1. Cars

We'll be honest here – we're got no sympathy for you if you're driving a car through the town. Especially in really effed-up spots like London or Edinburgh city centres – unless you have no legs, or are delivering an enormous cake, you've no business using four wheels in the heart of town. Take the bike, man.

The big thing here is unpredictability. Car drivers in town are often unsure of where they're going, so will dart down a sidestreet or pull a U-turn as soon as their satnav tells them to. They'll often be distracted too: sitting in traffic jams is boring, so they drift off into the radio, daydream about the fit bird (or bloke) in accounts, or start texting on their phone in their lap (we can all see you!). So – treat with caution, be ready for anything, and get past them safely as soon as you can.



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