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The four core functions from the National Standard for Cycle Training provide a useful guide to the essential skills for safe cycling.

Think ‘look’

Make good and frequent observations

Be aware of what is always happening around you. Is the road behind clear of traffic? Do you have enough time and space to change your road position? Is there anyone who needs to know your intentions at the junction?

When sharing space with others (other cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, horse riders) being aware of the time and space you and they need to perform manoeuvres is critical.

Always look behind to make sure it is safe before communicating intentions or changing your road position.

Think 'position'

Choose and maintain the most suitable road position

Where there are no parked cars ride well away from the kerb (approximately one metre from kerb) to ensure you can see and be seen and to ensure you have space.

Always check first that there are no other road users behind before changing position. Ride well away from parked cars to ensure space for a car door to open.

Ride near the centre of the lane to encourage others to give you more room when they pass.

Think 'communicate'

Communicate your intentions clearly to others

Let people know what you’re going to do first. Changing riding position, providing arm signals and making eye contact are all useful ways to communicate your intentions to others, particularly at junctions and in traffic. A friendly verbal call when approaching other cyclists or pedestrians will let them know you are there and wish to pass them.

Think 'priorities'

Understand priorities on the road, particularly at junctions

Know who has priority at each stage of your journey – setting off, passing slow-moving or stationary vehicles, negotiating junctions, finishing the journey.

At junctions, the same rules of the road apply to motorists and cyclists. Sticking to the rules removes confusion and makes the road environment more predictable for everyone. Understanding ‘who goes first’ helps all road users have the time and space they need to complete manoeuvres safely and responsibly.

Updated: 05 August 2021