Soyez grand, être vu

Training ride three: distance – 11 miles

Total training miles: 29

Days left until challenge: 354

Managed to get out again this morning which has left me feeling a little proud and glad I’ve started the blog. The duvet was warm, I’m away on business overnight and have a list of things to do in preparation – all good reasons (excuses) I thought not to ride today.

However as I lay in bed I knew that really with a little effort, and a bit less dithering, I did have time and as I knew for certain that I won’t get time to ride tomorrow it was important to get out today after having a rest day yesterday. Also could I leave a hole in the blog so early on…

So with a splash of water, a cup of tea and a fruit and nut cereal bar for sustenance I set off. As variety is important to a training regime I didn’t want to follow the same route I’d done on my last two rides but wasn’t really sure where I was going. I decided to go with the flow see how I felt and see where  I ended up. All I knew was I has an hour that I could spare so needed to make sure I didn’t get too far from home.

Heading out of the door at 7.30 am on a bike gives an interesting perspective on early morning life. It’s not by chance that on advertisements we see people eating bowls of cereal, getting dressed and generally waking up on their way to work. As a younger man I seem to recall that my first cup of coffee at work was when I would officially consider myself awake – and sometimes not until the second.

Being on auto pilot is something that many of us do and if you’re on foot, or on public transport it’s unlikely that you’re going to damage anyone. However many people who are driving are also in this state with minds on the school run, the first meeting of the morning or ITFC’s win last night against Wigan. Combine this with the fact that cars are big and bikes are small and there is a recipe for painful consequences. So what can we do?


This was advice I was given when preparing for my LEJOG ride.

The BE BIG bit is quite easy for me. At 6 foot and much closer to 16 stone than the 14 1/2 I was when I finished my last ride I am not a small object but regardless of size we can all ride big. Without being a road hog or nuisance don’t ride in the gutter where you can be obscured by road signs at junctions. Ride out in the road where you can be clearly seen and when manoeuvring make bold well-signalled moves.

BE SEEN.  I struggle to understand why many cyclists seem to opt for black cycling clothes. They may be slimming, they may be stylish but generally they don’t help anyone be seen. While it is not for safety reasons that the leader of the Tour de France is given a bright yellow jersey it is because the organisers want him to stand out – for leisure cyclists it works too and in doing so keeps us safe. I’m a big believer in BRIGHT!

The other option is LED lights. As a motorist I see them and therefore when I am a cyclist I ensure I have them. I believe technically it is a traffic offence to have flashing lights on a bike – something I must look up – but I think I’ll take my chances with a word of warning from a friendly constable rather than a two ton vehicle.

Ride safe!

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