GCI Blog

Back to Work – Time to Check your Journey

As the summer holidays draw to a close and the office beckons, it’s a good time to take a fresh look at your commute to work and check that you remain safe on your daily commute.

Whilst the benefits of cycling are substantial, the traffic, congestion and behaviour of other road users can make the experience challenging.

If you currently cycle to work, you’ll already know that you spend less time stuck in traffic and feel energised when you arrive at your workplace.  This sets you up for a productive day in the office.  And let’s not forget that commuting by bike will make you healthier, fitter and happier.

Those new to commuter cycling might feel nervous about sharing the road with motorised vehicles.  But if you have confidence and awareness, the roads are considerably less challenging. The way a cyclist behaves can do to influence the way others react around them. The more confident you are on the road, the safer you’ll be. So here are some road awareness tips for a happy cycling experience.

Plan your route

You want cycling to be enjoyable so it’s important to pick a route that you will enjoy and not create too much of a physical challenge. Think cycle paths, parks, and residential side streets that will help you to avoid heavy traffic routes and make your journey more pleasant.

Try Cycling UK’s Journey Planner to discover routes in your area

As the summer holidays draw to a close and the office beckons, it’s a good time to take a fresh look at your commute to work and check that you remain safe on your daily commute.
Build your confidence

The more you cycle, the more confident you will become and your control of the bike will be better. This will make you feel safer, and happier, when sharing the road with other vehicles.  Take some time to refresh and improve your handling techniques. Pay attention to making manoeuvres; looking over your right shoulder, signalling and moving out.

Consider switching your traditional bike to an ebike which can take away some of the stress and exertion making you feel more confident and in control.  Use the Cycle to Work Scheme with GCI to save 32 – 47% on an ebike.

Use the middle of the lane

Do not cycle near to the kerb. If you’re too close to the kerb, you’re more likely to have an accident.  Position yourself at least 1 metre away from the kerb.  This will help you to avoid obstacles in the road such as debris, pot holes, drain covers, and the kerb itself.

When you take the middle of the lane, drivers will be forced to take a wider, safer pass and not try risky overtaking.  Use GCI’s Close Pass poster at your place of work to help spread the ‘safe pass’ message.


HGVs, and buses, are one of the biggest dangers for cyclists due to the large blind spots which extend to 6ft in front of the vehicle and running down the sides.  You don’t want to be alongside one when it’s turning left.  Cyclists need to stay out of the blind spots by staying behind them in traffic and avoid moving down the left side.

Joining traffic

A common cause of collisions are vehicles entering the main carriageway from side roads, particularly on the left. Often a driver simply won’t see a cyclist coming and pull out.

Take a more dominant road position by riding away from the kerb. This will make you more visible and easily spotted.  Make eye contact with the driver pulling out. Then you’ll be able to deduce if they have spotted you.

Wear hi-vis clothing to make it even easier to see you.  You can get safety accessories including clothing through the Cycle to Work Scheme and save at least 32%.

Parked cars

Although the Highway Code recommends the ‘Dutch Reach’ when opening a car door, this is still to be ingrained with UK road users.  The unexpected opening of a door of parked car can create a danger you need to be aware of.

Take a more dominant road position so you are further away the parked car.  Look through the back windscreen of parked vehicles as you approach to see if anybody is inside.  Consider wearing hi-vis clothing to help you be seen.

There are lots of benefits to cycling to work and it’s important to make it a pleasant experience so you don’t give up and leave the bike in the shed.  For short journeys, bike is best. Take control of your commute to work and reap the rewards.

#cycling #highwaycode #cycletowork #roadawareness #closspass #bikeisbest

  • 5th September 2023