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30/05/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

Smart Cycling with Nip Nip

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Having been a cycle commuter for quite a while now I thought I knew it all. So when I turned up for Nip Nip’s Smart Cycling course last week I thought that there really was little more for me to learn.

How naive I was! Despite putting thousands of miles under my wheels through the streets of London I had never had any kind of guidance about how to keep myself safe. The key, I always thought, was common sense and not putting yourself in danger by being stupid. That was until I nearly found myself being the latest statistic of a left turning lorry.

Staying safe

When telling the story to my instructor, Craig, you could see the look of horror in his eyes. But he hadn’t indicated, how was I to know that he was going to cut across me as I went up the cycle lane towards a green light. What I should have done was just to hold back and wait until we had passed the junction before filtering on his left.

This kind of mistake is one that can be your last and it is exactly this kind of thing that the guys at Nip Nip are trying to prevent from happening. The course is designed to help cyclists of all abilities to safely negotiate their way around London.

The syllabus

Starting with an off-road section to test bike control skills the course moves through many typical scenarios that cyclists will have to tackle whilst cycling in the city. Whether you are in a group or in a one-on-one lesson, the instructor will talk you through each stage of the course before clearly demonstrating what you should be doing.

The syllabus is nicely complimented by a well thought out route through The City which allows participants to put theory into practice. With sections on road positioning, safely negotiating junctions, HGVs and roundabouts to name a few, the course is really well designed.

Using an electric bike

If you are new to cycling, just taking it up again or just fancy a bit of assistance then there is also the option of trying one of Nip Nip’s electric bikes whilst doing the course. They are widely thought of as being safer in an urban environment as the electric motor allows for a smooth take off avoiding the zigzagging that is common among novice cyclists.

It was my first experience of an electric bike and despite feeling a little like being on a Boris bike it does make cycling around town an almost effortless experience. Which, for me, is cheating, but for others might make the difference when deciding whether or not to get on a bike.

So why not take advantage of the opportunity to refine your city cycling style and make sure that you avoid the pitfalls of London’ streets. Contact David Farr ([email protected]), for more details on how to get involved.

See Also:

Safer routes will encourage more to cycle

Bragging rights up for stake for London’s cyclists

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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