How to commute faster – tips for cycling faster

cycle fasterSome quick tips to get you city cyclists to get you cycling faster…

  • If safe to do so then get off your bike and walk across the traffic light – your not breaking any laws right?
  • When stuck in traffic don’t just sit there – with a few manoeuvres you can be at the front of that traffic jam
  • Anticipate the traffic – know when to speed up and when to slow down and see where there are potential spots to change lanes if one lane is moving faster etc
  • Keep your bike in good condition – A good bike with pumped up tires etc will ride more easily
  • Find a faster route to your destination – there is always a quicker way, don’t just stick to the same old route you have always used. Investigate new routes and find ones with less traffic lights
  • Switch to a lower gear when you know you are coming to a stop, it will be easier to accelerate once that light turns green

Whilst in a city you are unlikely to reach your top speed you will get there faster.Do you know any more good speedy cycling tips?

See also:

Image source: Jkonig Flickr stream

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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14 Responses to How to commute faster – tips for cycling faster

  1. Mathew 12/01/2008 at 11:18 am #

    Keep your thumbs on the top of your handlebars.
    This helps to keep your elbows in, making you more aerodynamic.

  2. Mathew 12/01/2008 at 11:50 am #

    A few more:

    1) Learn the light sequences and look ahead. In that way you can time the lights rather than jump them.

    2) Use routes with bus lanes. Remember these are open to other traffic after 7 P.M. so get out of the office on time.

    3) Wear lots of hi-viz clothing – without it you might as well forget the helmet.

    4) Don’t get caught behind busses or traffic turning left on you. The way to do this is to travel at traffic speed and claim some road space – no riding in the gutter.

    5) Every second counts. Keep moving, pausing rather than stopping at the lights. Pausing is where you do a track stand, stopping is putting a foot on the ground.

    6) Get good brakes and keep your rims clean. Roundabouts have to be approached at speed – but in the wet you may need to stop at the last moment and this is not possible with bad brakes.

    7) Use gears and don’t go for the ‘single speed cool’ unless you want to be left behind at the lights.

    8) Punctures can be a frequent problem. Carry stick on patches, spare tube and a pump. Pick glass out of your tyres at least once a week.

    9) Don’t get angry with the traffic – the people stuck in tin boxes are morons that don’t give a toss about climate, pollution, the end of oil or getting places quickly. They are to the human race what the dodo is to the pigeon – flightless, fat and soon to be extinct. If their actions frustrate you, internalise that energy and convert it to useful adrenalin, getting you there in less time.

    10) Get a bell. Jaywalkers do move out of the way of a bicycle bell, you can also ring it when passing a bus, so passengers crossing the road in front of the bus hear you too.

    11) With all other road users it is nice to give the occassional thumbs up. If someone doesn’t flatten you (after trying well), give them a thumbs up, not the single finger.

    12) When a car in your lane stops to let another car out of a sidestreet, they have not thought of you and you are not obligated to stop for them. This ploy disrupts the karma games car-drivers play. Also, don’t be afraid of riding very close to cars nosing out of sidestreets – ‘they never move’.

  3. Peter 22/06/2009 at 7:55 am #

    1. make eye contact with other road users – they are people too. It’s about communication and awareness
    If you make eye contact with that HGV driver and show him you’re going to pull into the lane in front of him and give him a thumbs up when he lets you, everyone’s a winner.
    2. ride assertively – not aggressively but still asserting your equal right to the road
    3. cover your brakes
    4. it’s not such a good idea to keep your thumbs on top of the handlebars if there’s a chance of your hands slipping off and you losing control
    5. helmets are not necessarily a good idea (check cyclehelmets.org)
    6. Shouting is a lot more immediate and loud than fumbling for a bell.

    • Ted 01/02/2013 at 5:54 pm #

      The trouble with shouting, Peter, is that it doesn’t immediately identify you as a cyclist, and the pedestrian may not register what’s happening as quickly, or even that you’re shouting at them. With a bell, at least they’re looking for a cyclist and will probably therefore look in the correct direction.

  4. hgvlgvtraining 29/09/2009 at 6:22 pm #

    A new HGV LGV qualification is now required if you drive an HGV for a living. One of the aims of training is safety. This can only be a good thing for cyclists

  5. julie 04/10/2009 at 9:55 pm #

    A new HGV LGV qualification is now required if you drive an HGV for a living. One of the aims of training is safety. This can only be a good thing for cyclists

    is that right?

  6. Iain Clark 25/02/2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Also ensure that the saddle is at the correct height and that you are using the ball of your foot on the paddle. Both these tips will maximixe the power from your leg muscles. I have written an article about this how-to-make-your-bike-go-faster-without-spending-any-money

  7. Andy H 18/08/2010 at 10:59 pm #

    How about having the seatpost the correct length for ergonomically efficient pedalling?

    p.s. my mate is thinking of starting a bicycle courier service in Newcastle. He needs feedback so email gallowgate@aol.com. The prices and contact info on the site are not finalised.

    Any comments welcome.

  8. Andy H 18/08/2010 at 11:00 pm #

    How about having the seatpost the correct length for ergonomically efficient pedalling?

    p.s. my mate is thinking of starting a bicycle courier service in Newcastle. He needs feedback so email gallowgate@aol.com. The prices and contact info on the site are not finalised.

    url: a1cycleserve.co.uk

    Any comments welcome.

  9. Cyndy Palos 31/10/2010 at 3:03 pm #

    no the only thing you should use is http://tinyurl. com/32uv9us

  10. Stevehilson1 26/10/2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Wallace School of Transport are the most respected lorry bus coach driving training school in the country, Londons first choice for operator and driver training, with the most comprehensive training services in the South East.

  11. James 08/06/2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Ride Faster!

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