Rural Family Riding
The majority of UK motorists are becoming aware of cyclists as the popularity of cycling increases but in rural environments there does still seem to be a tendency for many to disregard safety and speed along and cut corners on narrow country roads.
If you cycle along rural roads as a family or a group it is recommended that you take the following precautions:
- Decide on a leader and a person to back up the group who should both wear bright or fluorescent clothing so they can be seen by any approaching or following vehicle.
- Both people should ride in the primary riding position, that is, in the centre of the carriageway, where they will be more visible and predictable to motor vehicle traffic and only move to the secondary riding position - between 0.5 and 1 metre (1.6 and 3.3 ft) from the edge of the road when it is safe, reasonable, and necessary to allow faster traffic to pass.
- The state of country roads may not be as good as those in an urban setting. There may be poor surfaces, particularly on the edge of the roads with soft verges and many potholes. In order to give space to avoid them the rest of the group should ride at least 0.5 metre from the side.
- Ride in a single file, but to be able to slow down or stop if the person in front suddenly brakes in an emergency, leave sufficient room to avoid crashing into them.
- When it is safe to do so, give following vehicles the chance to overtake you. They do not want to be behind you and you do not want them behind you.
- Be assertive with any animals you may meet.
- Take enough water and food with you, as you never know where you'll next find a shop.
- Take equipment such as a pump, spanners, tyre levers and puncture repair kit.
- Take both front and rear working lights if there is a chance that you will not reach your destination before dusk or nightfall.