Adele Turner is a National Account Manager at Driver Hire. She’s a regular weekend cyclist and would like to become a cycle commuter, but busy roads and mixing it with rush hour traffic has always put her off the idea. So for Road Safety Week she teamed up with seasoned cycle commuters, Ben Buckle and Dave Robbins to learn a bit more about cycling to work.
How did you find your cycle commute from a road safety perspective?
Luckily, the commute went without incident, however, I was on edge for the majority of the ride and could not fully enjoy it because of the general lack of awareness and consideration from motorists. Cars tend to get closer than they should and people park in cycle paths, meaning cyclists have to join the flow of heavy traffic at a peak period.
Is it fair to say that motorists aren’t aware of cyclists, even when you’re on the Cycling Super Highway?
Absolutely – there were a number of occasions where motorists didn’t even look before entering the Cycling Super Highway at junctions, and seemed totally surprised to see us there! I lost count of the amount of times cars entered the Cycle Path at junctions, meaning we had to pull out into the main flow of traffic.
Did you feel better for the exercise and fresh air when you arrived at your desk?
Once at work, I did actually feel the benefit of the commute, as I was definitely more alert and energised for the day ahead. It’s always good to start the day with a bit of exercise.
After your cycle commute experience would you like to commute by bike more regularly?
I would like to say yes, but the reality is no. Completing this commute with other accomplished cyclists definitely gave me confidence, however, doing this by myself in future is an entirely different prospect – there are just so many variables like weather, road conditions, and, the main one, motorists to factor in! There is so much to consider when commuting, that it does take a bit of pleasure out of cycling for me. Although it’s safe to say that there is nothing quite like the feeling and noise of a Class 1 Truck behind you to spur you on and get those calories burned!
What factors put you off becoming a regular cycling commuter?
In general, I feel that there is a general lack of awareness among motorists of cyclists and their rights on the road. People could definitely benefit from education on this.
You can find out more information on Road Safety Week here.