How to Commute Adelaide (tips on riding safe - contributions welcome)

So a big part of my riding journey (which involved a little bit of road biking, but now primarily commuting) has been watching videos that other riders have posted and thinking about how I could avoid potential issues they may have faced, what could be done better, how I might approach a particular situation etc. There are heaps of places in Adelaide I haven't ridden as I commute mostly from the east and through the CBD, sop its nice to see other parts of Adelaide and any issues riders may face.

I guess this is intended as an educational tool for new and/or established riders, but by no means do I think my riding is perfect, and I'd like to think this thread could be a place for constructive criticism. So if you do collect video and have an instructional video feel free to post it in here for feedback or for educative purposes. 

One video I really enjoyed was Ruddagers, where he detailed some tips on commuting in traffic. I hope you don't mind me reposting it here, if so, let me know!

Here is a recent video I made with similar observations and ideas

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Yes I've had people look through me at roundabouts then dive out into me or into where I'd have been if I trusted them.  There is an image of you on their retinas but it's not being processed in their brains. 

There is an image of you on their retinas but it's not being processed in their brains. 

I think that in most of these type of incidents the driver see's the cyclist but doesn't register them as a danger, unfortunately there are also far too many who see but believe that cyclists are irelevent 

There's also this article which explains how tricky "seeing" is

It's not that they see you but just don't care - it is that they don't see you at all - their brain does not register anything, they are scanning for other motor vehicles and the cyclist just does not cause a "radar blip".

That's one reason I run my lights continuous on (not blinking) - motor vehicle drivers "see" a motor bike or scooter or some such thing. I've had a few drivers look a bit surprised as I've slide by ;-)

I prefer the view of the character Bob from Monsters v's Aliens "Bob here doesn't have a brain, apparently you don't need one!".

Even better is if you ride a bike that looks so different that people (especially kids in the back seat) go "Look at that funny bike!".  It's often followed by either of "That's cool" or "I want one of those".  It's a pity parents just don't listen to what their children are telling them.

The third and most important point is to lift your head so that you can expand your field of view.  Looking at the road 3m in front of your wheel is not going to do you any favours in a traffic situation.  Everything comes as a surprise then.

I would add riding on the hoods with at least a finger on the brake lever. That fraction of a second it takes to transit from the top of the handlebar to the brake could make a difference.


not suggesting you climb Norton Summit on the hoods,  just transiting a road that has traffic entering frequently. 

Shoot glances at the front wheel of a vehicle that has slowed beside you approaching an intersection/left turn-off.  The wheel starting to turn across your path is the earliest warning we get if the blinker is obscured or not used.  Same principle applies to vehicles going in the opposite direction turning right.

Indicating when on the bike helps all.  I find when a car is approaching from behind as I near an intersection at a rate that is going to ignore me will fall in behind when I indicate what I'm going to do (instead of passing at risk as the intersection is too close).  It is the same principle as taking the lane at roundabouts.

A strong example of doing all you can and still not being seen!

Ride like everyone's trying to kill you ;)

Good advice, and the need for it is why women and children don't cycle as much.

That MAC Be Seen yellow monstrosity that appears every year around now emphasises that the attention is all on the cheap solution: trying to get drivers to do what they should be doing anyway, ie not running people over.

Agreed. High Vis campaigns abrogate the responsibility of those in control of the main danger, the motorist, to those not in control of it, the cyclist. 

Helmets work the same way. I happened to hear a speech the other day from a MAC representative spruiking the inflated yellow bike and the campaign, and noticed he casually referred to helmets as "silly hats".  


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