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Dealing effectively with Cyclists

Dealing effectively with Cyclists

Most pupils are concerned about cyclists, mostly because they do not fully understand how cyclists ride, so they see them as unstable and dangerous.

First you need to understand “how cyclists think”

Most cyclists don’t think they just do whatever comes into their mind at the time!

As the winter closes in there are going to be more cyclists on the roads especially on dark nights. Most cyclists do not have lights for some reason or other which I do not understand.

 The Main Challenges with Cyclists are:

  • What are they going to do next?
  • Overtaking them safely.


 The main thing about cyclists is that they are unpredictable. Once we know that it is easier to deal with them effectively, expect the unexpected.


 The pupil had just set off from outside her house, there was a small child on a bicycle on the pavement, as the child cycled along there were a couple of pedestrians just ahead of her. She then cycled off the kerb and jumped off the bicycle right in front of our car, as we were only going slowly we stopped very quickly. She was quite upset with the situation.

A pupil who had only had a few lessons was driving on a small housing estate. When we were stopped, a boy on a bicycle circled us going on and off the pavement and into the road and back onto the pavement. We set off and were just coming up to overtake a parked car, when the cyclist overtook us on the left and turned across the front of the car startling the pupil.

Overtaking them safely

 The main thing is to plan things in advance. Where is a good place to overtake them? The best places to overtake them are: at a wide section of the road, just after parked cars, before they get close to parked cars.

Where they are in groups and or riding side by side it is more challenging, so it is vital to pick your place carefully, even if you have to wait a while. Give them lots of room!


A pupil was going down Manchester Road in Burnley approaching the bends past the cinema towards the roundabout, we were following a cyclist who was doing about 30mph, the pupil decided to speed up to try and overtake them round the bends before we reached the roundabout. Kenneth had to intervene, when questioned about what he was trying to do he said; “You didn’t expect me to wait behind him” Kenneth replied it was not possible to get past him before the roundabout without crashing.

A pupil was approaching a cyclist on a main road there was a lot of oncoming traffic so it was not safe at that point to overtake them, she slowed down and pulled in behind them about two metres from his back wheel! Kenneth prompted him to drop back a bit otherwise it might look like we were going to “Stalk” him all the way to Nelson?