The Highway Code was updated on 29th January and you need to know what this means for you as a cyclist. As the changes were specifically set out to improve road safety for cyclist, pedestrians and horses, you are directly affected. Even if you rarely ride on the road and prefer off-road biking, you still have to get to your destination and the changes will affect you too. The way you use your bike, in ways big and small, has an overt and knock-on effect on your bike components: regular check-ups of your bicycle crankset, derailleur hangers etc cannot afford to be overlooked.
The most prevalent change has been the hierarchy of road users. Those who are most at risk of incurring a collision are now at the top of the hierarchy, including cyclists. While this gives you more control than you had previously, the second rule states: “people driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing”. Omit this rule from your memory and risk breaking the highway code. A part of your bike checks should naturally include ensuring your brakes are functioning properly and you are prepared to stop at a moment’s notice.
The cycling routes you may already be familiar with have also been mentioned, with some very specific instructions given to cyclists. If you are passing a horse, you are now instructed to pass on the horse’s left side. When passing by people walking, driving a horse-drawn vehicle or riding a horse, you are asked not to do so at high speed. Similarly, you are instructed to slow down when appropriate to protect others, while also letting people know of your presence.
Particular attention has been brought to the fact that people walking may be deaf, blind or partially sighted so therefore their protection is even more reliant on your consideration. If you have been cycling for years, you may be resigned to the idea you know what you’re doing and how to operate your bike efficiently. The temptation to overlook the need to properly clean and maintain components such as your bicycle crankset or fork seals because you feel your expertise trumps the more trivial parts of cycling could lead to an unforeseen poor performance. For your best rides and to ensure you don’t accidentally fall foul of the highway code changes, it is best to maintain and replace your bike components without becoming complacent.
There are 8 new rules, with more affecting cyclists especially. This includes those driving vehicles as they are instructed not to overtake cyclists on a roundabout. All the rules affecting cyclists are available to read in full on the official gov.uk website.
Contact us for more information on any of our road, gravel or mtb components, from bicycle cranksets to mtb bearings and beyond, as we have an extensive collection that have all been manufactured on-site in Stoke-On-Trent.