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Cycling 101

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In America, I come from a very small town. When I ride my bike at home, I tend not to care or pay attention to where I am riding because it never really mattered. We have aproximately 7 traffic lights and one street houses our entire “downtown” area, post office, police station, fire station and all. Here in Sheffield things are much different.

I am very aware that I break nearly every single regulation when it comes to cycling in this country, but I decided to actually look up the regulations and see what exactly I’ve done wrong:

59 – Clothing. You should wear

  • a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened
  • appropriate clothes for cycling.
  • light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light
  • reflective clothing and/or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.

Yikes, so I don’t own a helmet. And I basically wear all black everythang. It’s a hip-hop thing people. I do however own a white jacket that I usually wear (although now its a tad off white) so I will count that as light coloured or reflective clothing. (White is a reflective color by nature).

60 – At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

Nope.

61 – Cycle Routes and Other Facilities. Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless at the time it is unsafe to do so. Use of these facilities is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

advanced stop lines? cycle boxes?? toucan crossings?? (I’m not a bird). I guess I have enough skills where I don’t need to use this. I mean I can do a wheelie.

62 – Cycle Tracks. These are normally located away from the road, but may occasionally be found alongside footpaths or pavements. Cyclists and pedestrians may be segregated or they may share the same space (unsegregated). When using segregated tracks you MUST keep to the side intended for cyclists as the pedestrian side remains a pavement or footpath. Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Take care near road junctions as you may have difficulty seeing other road users, who might not notice you.

I don’t know this one I try my best but pedestrians walk on the cycling path too. Two wrongs don’t make a right but two rights make a left. Think about it…

64 – You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

Guilty. I got yelled at once by a woman while riding on the pavement but you know what I think she was being inconsiderate. First of all, Britain, your streets aren’t big enough. So not only are ya’ll trying to squeeze two double decker buses on one tiny road but then you want me to cycle on that same road with those two buses. Nah. Every time I cycle on the forbidden pavement and I see a bus crossing that line on to the bike lane I thank God he gave me the sense not to cycle on the street with no helmet on and a black hoodie. (That whole thing was a bit melodramatic but true.)

 

These are just a few rules that I have broken. Maybe I will work on sharing the rest with you when I have more time but I have a research tutorial in 15 minutes so I must get on the bike and cycle to that, illegally 🙂

Also, a huge shout out to Naomi for lending me her bike for the season. If it wasn’t for her, all this rule breaking would be next to impossible.

Happy Thursday ya’ll.

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