Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter

10 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic: Part 7 of 10

10 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic

Today we continue a series of 10 posts about cycling with car traffic. These are things we have learned from years of riding in downtown Toronto. Some of these tips you may have seen before in other places, and some will be new.

This is not meant to be a complete list… there are more secrets out there… but here are 10 that you’ll find very useful.

NOTE: These are geared towards downtown cycling, since that’s what I’m most familiar with. These all assume that you already know about proper lighting and safety (ie. helmets are useful, stopping at red lights is advised, etc.) precautions, and know that riding on sidewalks is one of the most unsafe things you can do, for both pedestrians and yourself.

Past tips are found at the bottom of this post.

7. Make Them THINK You’re Unpredictable

Make Them THINK You’re UnpredictableThis is a tip not many people know. If I’m in a stretch of road where drivers are passing too closely or I just want more room, I look over to my left or over my left shoulder. Sometimes I’ll be looking at a store, or someone on the sidewalk, or down a street, but most of the time I’m just looking left for the sake of looking left.

I’ve found that the simple act of looking over to the left is enough sometimes to give me more road space. Drivers, if they see you do this, seem to think that you’re thinking of moving to the left (even if you aren’t) and are checking to see if it’s clear.  They don’t want to hit you, so they become a little more cautious.

If they think you may be coming left, they’ll give you more room. They don’t know you’re responsible and predictable and would signal before doing anything.


Check out the full “10 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic” series:

  1. Drivers Don’t Want to Kill You
  2. Ride in a Straight Line
  3. Play by the Rules
  4. Avoid the “Stoplight Squeeze”
  5. Signal Sensibly
  6. Take That Lane
  7. Make Them THINK You’re Unpredictable
  8. Ride With Others
  9. Avoid the Right Hook
  10. Practice Your Route

Image Credits:





RECENTLY ON BIKING TORONTO:

19218110215_5878dde133_b

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Bike Chic. Queen and Spadina

Source: Original photo – by sigma. on Flickr. via Tumblr ift.tt/1JeuzYF via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group. Also check out the thousands of amazing photos that have been shared on instagram with the #biketo hashtag!

cycle

INFRASTRUCTURE: Toronto wants you to plan the future of cycling

Want a bikelane somewhere?  Let the city know, officially: Via an online survey, people are being invited to identify up to 20 streets – 10 downtown and 10 others anywhere in the city — as cycling priorities from a list of suggestions. The suggestions were based on earlier survey data and the city’s smartphone app […]

Sangyal-helps-rebuild-bikes-at-Bike-Pirates-c-Siva-Vijenthira-600x800

EVENT: Sat, July 4 – Bike Pirates celebrates their 9th Birthday

Please join us this Saturday, JULY 4TH, for some fun, food, and high fives. We couldn’t have made it to 9 years without the support of this community!We will be outside the shop for part of the afternoon saying hello to our new Parkdale neighbours, so come by to see the shop in action, have […]

11355710_693219640806386_1704726468_n

INSTAGRAM: More Bells on Danforth

Bells on #Danforth! Looking east from Pape. #Danforthlovesbikes Danforth Loves Bikes! Follow BikingToronto on instagram! @bikingtoronto

bike-share-toronto.jpg.size_.xxlarge.letterbox

NEWS: Nearby bikeshare station may raise your home’s value

Having a bike share station outside your front door might do more than give you a convenient way to ride to work — it might also boost the value of your home. According to a new study from McGill University, residential units in Montreal are worth more if they’re close to a Bixi station, Montreal’s […]

fatal-accident-closed-dufferin-st-in-vaughan-150629victor-biro1.jpg.size_.xxlarge.letterbox

NEWS: Cyclist dead following 2-vehicle collision on Dufferin St.

The cyclist wasn’t on the road (standing on sidewalk), but car struck a hydro pole, which then killed them. Awful. A cyclist has been confirmed dead by York Regional Police following a vehicle collision on Dufferin St. north of Steeles Ave. on Monday evening. Two cyclists were on the sidewalk corner of Dufferin St. and […]

IMG_20150629_180949510_HDR

OH YEAH! The Viaduct bikelanes get MORE green paint!

Well, I don’t know what’s going on.  This is a level of paying attention to cycling infrastructure on the Bloor Viaduct that, quite frankly, I thought I’d never see (and it pissed me off, often). But now, after the green paint that was laid down late last week in the bikelane, there is now MORE […]

please2015-06-28-18.16.41

FACEPALM: City closes Hoskin bikelane for PanAm Games

What’s a great idea?  Closing down one of the busiest bikelanes in the city and not providing a detour that’s safe for cyclists (and pedestrians) because of the “short distance of the inconvenience”. A sign erected on June 25 indicates the closure of the Hoskin bike lane for two months during the Pan Am Games. […]

11378773_1438257236482258_1995756473_n

INSTAGRAM: Bells on Danforth

Dipping into the instagram archives for this great pic from Bells on Danforth. Biking the viaduct and #thedanny with hundreds of people! #Danforthlovesbikes #biketoFollow BikingToronto on instagram! @bikingtoronto

2014CityBike-INTRO-KatieAaron-Opus-Photo-David-Niddrie-1632-testcrop2

OH YEAH: Easy Bikes – A New Name for Upright Bikes?

Interesting article from Momentum Mag from earlier this month: Did the Wall Street Journal just rename the most accessible, useful, and comfortable of all bicycle styles? Upright bicycles, sometimes referred to by Momentum Mag as city bikes, are hands down the best style of bicycle for daily use. A relaxed frame geometry and swept-back handlebars combine to […]

Recommended Lights

"Frog" Lights

Planet Bike Light Combo

Planet Bike 5 LED Tail Light
Recommended Books
See More Books