The interplay between cyclists and car drivers must improve. Lives literally depend on it. At Craft, we believe the road ahead involves mutual respect, understanding of both perspectives and most importantly new regulations.Therefore, for the third year in a row Craft and Roberto Vacchi launch an initiative where we advocate the 1.5 meter rule, meaning that the distance to a cyclist during an overtake should be at least 1.5 meters.
For many years, cyclists have been exposed to dangers and felt insecure when cycling on the roads. Unfortunately, the situation has worsened dramatically over the last 20 years, with increased congestion and more selfishness on the roads. As a cyclist I therefore fight for the well-known 1.5-meter rule, which stipulates that motor vehicles must keep a distance of 1.5 meters when overtaking a cyclist. Moving in the right direction, the Swedish Government has finally commissioned the Swedish Transport Agency to investigate the possibility of introducing the 1.5-meter rule. We should demand this rule, of course. But what we rarely talk about is how we as cyclists can become more accepted on the roads. In other words, what can we do to make other road users feel that we are doing everything possible to keep the traffic flowing without restricting our cycling? Here are some suggestions:
If we don't follow the traffic rules, how can we demand it from those behind the wheel? If, for example, we drive straight out into an intersection where priority is to be given and in the next second become furious because a motorist does the same to us, then when we are no better than them.
We are often told to wear high-visibilty clothes so that we can be easily spotted. But there are additional ways to improve visibility, e.g. with lighting that can be attached to the saddle post or under the saddle.
We usually ride on the same roads and know which bike lanes are perfectly OK to use. If a person walks in the middle of the lane and maybe with a dog on a leash, signal early, slow down, pass the pedestrian calmly, and then speed up again. See it as interval training and ignore the average speed.
Ride with a maximum of 6-8 cyclists in each group, preferably with a few minutes between the groups, and then meet up at the café at a set time if you want the additional social aspect.
See if there's something you can do to facilitate overtaking. If motorists behind you are waiting for safe overtaking, give a thumbs up when the opportunity arises. If they overtake with a safe distance, give another thumbs up. Be involved in creating a positive traffic environment.
Sweden is a country with a relatively small population and many fantastic roads. Be curious and look for roads with little traffic. Maybe you will find a new favorite. And don't be afraid to sometimes take a gravel road, many are great for cycling.
"Whether we are sitting behind a steering wheel or a handlebar, we all want to return home safely, preferably with a smile on our lips."
- Roberto Vacchi
Evedalsgatan 5, SE-504 35