MCN's guide to urban riding: Observation

By MCN -

Riding Skills

 25 October 2010 16:49

Riding in cities requires a completely different set of skills compared to the open road. There are more distractions, more hazards and more corners.

To make sure you get the most out of your bike in the city MCN has produced a guide to urban riding in association with Spada.

1. Watch the road surface carefully. Drains, metal covers, road paint and even oil and diesel can dramatically affect the amount of grip available to the bike.

2. Riding in a built up area requires all your attention. If you feel your mind wondering, force yourself to concentrate on the ride. If you can’t, take a break.

3. Don’t just look out for what is currently happening. Train yourself to look for what is happening, what isn’t happening yet and what you could reasonably expect to develop.

4. Anticipate possible hazards, order hazards in importance and then decide what to do. If you aren’t sure you’ve got enough time, slow down.

5. Look around you. Don’t just focus on one point. Scan the entire environment around you. Look into the distance, the mid-ground, the foreground, to the sides and the rear.

6. Motorbikes have an advantage in observation. Use the width of the road to change your view if you need to.

7. Use your peripheral vision. The receptors in your eye that deal with peripheral vision are particularly good at sensing movement, like cars, bikes or other hazards.

8. You can use features of the city to improve your view. Reflections in shop windows can let you see around corners, and shadows can give clues about traffic that is about to move.