One of the perks of crewing at Connection Crew is getting to go to work at top venues across London and cycling is a great way to get to them. However – it’s not always the safest way to get to them.
Sadly, this isn’t Amsterdam. London roads are not always accommodating to cyclists so it’s extremely important that crew take care. Especially at this time of year, when the majority of the time the roads are wet and dark and crewing jobs are coming in thick and fast, meaning that crew members might be working long and irregular hours.
We’ve compiled some top-tips for our crew on keeping safe, scouring the web for useful tools and advice.
1. Route planner
Planning your route allows you to take your time and ride with confidence. The latest Google Maps app, is the best navigation tool available for your phone at the moment. However, it’s still in beta mode so it’s not perfect yet. It has audio turn-by-turn instructions which can be handy though.
2. The incident hotspots
It’s important to be as diligent on a quiet backstreet as you would be at a busy junction, but being aware of these top 10 cyclist incident hotspots won’t do you any harm either:
1. Elephant and Castle roundabout
2. Trafalgar Square
3. Waterloo Road roundabout
4. Lambeth Bridge/Millbank roundabout
5. Upper Tooting Road/Lessingham Avenue, Ansell Road/ Derinton Road
6. Grove Road/Mile End Road
7. Vauxhall Bridge/Wandsworth Road
8. Monument Tube station junction
9. Camberwell New Road/Brixton Road
10. Camberwell New Road/Kennington Road/Harleyford Street
Source London 24
3. Get a grip
For better grip in wet weather, go with a smooth, soft tyre. Who knew!
According to 1010UK’s essential guide to winter cycling (which is worth reading in its entirety actually):
“In summer, grip is never much or a problem for the urban cyclist, but winter is another story. It seems counter-intuitive, but unless you’re riding through mud or snow, tyres with a deeper tread pattern won’t actually improve your grip at all. This article explains why.
The trick is to maximise the amount of rubber that’s in contact with the road at any given time, so to get the best grip on wet roads, you’re looking for a wide, smooth tyre. (Thanks to Peter Smith and James Russell for pointing this out.)
Going easy on tyre pressure can also help: firm tyres minimise rolling resistance and make hills less of a slog, but I tend to keep mine a tiny bit softer in winter for safety reasons.”
4. Night rider
The nights are well and truly drawing in so make yourself as visible as possible – check out Cycling Weekly’s top tips for cycling at night as well as some handy buyers’ guides for decent front and rear lights.
5. Enjoy the ride
City AM collated some scary statistics that highlight some really important points for cyclists – the dangers of riding at rush hour, the types of vehicles to really watch out for etc.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – Things are improving, what with talk of improvements like “Crossrail for Bikes” along the Embankment. And cycling is still the cheapest and healthiest way to get around.
So stay safe and enjoy the ride.