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Be cyclewise! - 24 August 2016

With the recent cycling success at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the Safer Roads Partnership in Warwickshire and West Mercia is urging all cyclists to stay safe this summer on the regions roads.

With the prominent TV coverage and medal success from Team GB, more people are turning to cycling as a viable form of transport and leisure pursuit.  Whether you fancy yourself as the next Jason Kenny or Laura Trott or just looking at new ways of keeping fit, cycling is an enjoyable past time and an effective means of transport and there are ways to ensure this activity is done as safely as possible.

When cycling, it is sensible to make sure you can be seen by other road users when out and about by wearing or carrying something light - coloured, bright or florescent in daylight.  When it's dark, the use of reflective materials, armbands or waistcoat, is very effective and making sure your lights work and are clean, helping to be visible to other road users when road conditions are bad or it's dark.  The use of a cycle helmet can help prevent head injury.  Injuries sustained by cyclists after a collision are often to the head and face so wearing a cycle helmet can reduce the seriousness of these injuries if they are involved in a collision.

If new to cycling or returning after a long break it is advisable to see what training opportunities are available locally through your local council or any local bike groups.  With the increasing use of 'shared space' and walkways it's important that cyclists warn pedestrians of their presence when approaching from behind and to not assume that they have been seen and to modify their speed accordingly.

There are also things that drivers can do to make sure they are sharing the road responsibly.  Motorists should look twice at junctions for cyclists and motorcyclists, being patient when waiting for a suitable gap to overtake and giving cyclists sufficient space when overtaking.  When overtaking a cyclist you should leave as much space as you would if overtaking a car.

Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership says: "The popularity of cycling is increasing year on year and after the recent success from Team GB at Rio the culture is growing, however people need to take care in order to ensure they are doing it as safely as possible.  With the right precautions cycling can be a safe form of transport and leisure pursuit.

"Our road network now is increasingly becoming a shared space for many, so we're not only encouraging cyclists to be more aware and take on board some of our advice but also urging other motorists to take more care on the roads and watch out for other road user groups, giving them plenty of time and space.