Category Archives: Commuting

Quiz

Ok, let´s do a little quiz and find out your road knowledge level. This should be fun and at the same time you might learn a thing or two.

This is not an official quiz meaning that its structure and wording may be different  from an official theory test. Its main purpose is to help a better approach to the road.

If you have any suggestions about how to get this quiz better, if you think I should add anything else  or  if you simply want to share your score, please do it in the comments area at the bottom of the page.

HAVE FUN WHILST LEARNING!!!

 

 

 

****QUIZ**** QUIZ****QUIZ****QUIZ****QUIZ****QUIZ****

 

Green answer= correct

Red Answer= incorrect or wrong

 

What´s the only piece(s) of equipment required by law in the U.K. when riding a motorbike?
Helmet
That is true. The helmet is the ONLY legal requirement regarding equipment in the U.K. ( If you are from the Sikh religion you don´t need to wear a helmet as long as you wear a turban).  Also be aware that if you are traveling abroad the legal requirements may be different.
Helmet and motorbike jacket
A protective motorbike jacket is strongly recommended but it´s not legal requirement.
Helmet, motorbike jacket and gloves
Ooops!!! that´s quite not right!!!
Helmet and motorbike gloves
Even if gloves are recommended, they are not a legal requirement.
  Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
What is a blind spot?
An area you can´t see on your mirrors.
Spot on!!! Remember, the mirrors only reflect what´s behind!!
The area shown on the mirrors.
Uh-Oh, That´s very very wrong!!!
The area right behind the motorbike.
Wrong!!! Isn´t that what mirrors show?!
A dirty area on your helmet visor.
Definitely wrong!! If you answered this one I strongly recommend you to read the highway code book again!
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

What is the difference in between these two signs?
On the Stop sign you must come to a complete stop even if it is clear to go. On the Give Way sign, you don´t need to stop if it is clear to continue.
Correct, on the give way you must slow down and look. If there´s a vehicle approaching then you stop and give him way. On the Stop sign you simply stop by the white line.
You must stop on both signs.
Wrong. Try to find the correct answer again.
Both mean the same. You have to stop if there is a vehicle approaching otherwise you don´t have to stop.
Wrong!!!! That´s the give way sign.
The Stop sign means that you have to stop and the Give Way sign means that you have priority.
Absolutely wrong. You do that, and you are dead.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
When riding we often look over our left or right shoulder because:
We need to look for hazards on our blind spot areas.
Correct!!! An action also known  as shoulder check or life saver.
The motorbike has no mirrors.
Wrong!!!
We listen better to the traffic around when turning the head.
Obviously wrong!! Hope you didn´t answer this one.
Looking around all the time helps us to see other road users better.
Not correct. You don´t need to do shoulder checks every two seconds.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
What should be our correct riding position in our lane on a normal two way road without obstructions and when we don´t intend to maneuver at all?
On the middle of the lane.
Absolutely correct. By doing so, you are in front of other drivers and it´s the position that offers you better protection. (Of course, sometimes we use other positions either to take advantage of them or for our protection)
On the left side of the lane, close to the kerb or pavement.
Wrong. By doing so you are inviting everyone to overtake you, getting yourself in a very compromising situation and also you are now on the peripheral vision of other drivers.
On the right side of the lane close to the oncoming traffic.
It is not safe at all. You are on the peripheral vision of other drivers. Traffic behind might undertake you and overtake you, no protection. Too close to the oncoming traffic may not be safe either.
On the right side of the road.
Hell no!! If you answered this, simply STOP riding until you are familiar with the left hand drive.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

What type of road signs are these?
They are warning or danger road signs.
100% correct. And that´s for all triangular road signs you find out there.
They are informative signs.
Nope. I suggest you to review my U.K. Road Signs post again in order to get it right.
They are directional signs.
Not these ones.
They are positive order signs.
That is 100% wrong. Read the U.K. Road signs post so you can improve your knowledge
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
How should you ride your motorbike when new tyres were just fitted?
Carefully until the shiny surface is worn off.
A brand new fitted tyre will be slippery due to a grease they have. It is important to ride the first 100/150 miles gently without putting too much stress on new tyres. Once that “gum” is worn off you can then ride normally.
Fast and weaving a lot so the tyre will warm up.
First things first. You are not Valentino Rossi no matter how good you think you are. A new tyre will always need to be ridden gently at first.
I should do a burnout to wear out the gum they have when they are new.
Do that often and in no time you are buying a new tyre.
Gently for the first 5 miles as they are new and then normally.
I am afraid but you will need to ride new tyres for quite longer than that to wear off the grease they have when they are new.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
You are riding on a dual carriage way. What should you do before changing lanes?
Check your mirrors, signal and do a shoulder check before changing lanes.
good stuff!!! That´s the way to do it safely. By looking over your shoulder you are covering your blind spot area!!
Check your mirrors, signal and change lane.
Wrong!!! If you do like that you are exposing yourself to unnecessary risks. Always do your shoulder check to cover your blind spot area.
Speed up and change lanes.
Wrong!! always apply your OSM PSL routine before changing lanes.
Indicate so you have the right of way.
Nope!!!! An indicator never gives the right of way towards drivers. Indicators are used only to inform other road users about our intention of maneuvering.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
What is likely to happen if you get cold and wet when riding your motorbike?
Your concentration level will drop down.
That´s correct. Always adjust your gear according to the weather conditions before a journey to avoid unnecessary risks.
Your reflexes and reaction time will be quicker.
Absolutely not. As you are cold and wet you will be way less attentive to your surroundings.
Your visor will steam up.
That´s a possibility when riding in cold weather but it isn´t the correct answer to this question.
You will get sick.
You might later on, but this is not the answer we are looking for in here.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

You are approaching this roundabout and you want to go to the 1st exit. Which indicator are you going to use?
Left indicator.
Correct. Also you want to position yourself on the outside lane in the roundabout to be safer and to help the traffic to flow better, reducing that way the risk of accident.
Right indicator.
Wrong and dangerous. If you are doing that you are informing everyone you are looking to go exit 3, 4 or that you may be doing a U-turn in the roundabout.
No indication.
Despite the fact many drivers don´t make use of their indicators often doesn´t mean we have to be the same. Try looking for the correct answer.
Switch hazard lights on.
Wrong and I don´t think an explanation is needed.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

You want to take the 2nd exit on the roundabout, which indicator should you use when approaching the roundabout?
None.
Yep, that´s correct.  You should indicate left only as you pass the first exit to inform other drivers about your intention of leaving the roundabout onto the 2nd exit.
Left indicator.
Wrong. By doing that you are informing everyone you intend to exit on the first exit.
Right indicator.
That is wrong. You should never indicate right if your exit is before or is at the middle of the roundabout. ( Go to my roundabouts post and read about the clock tip)
Right indicator on the roundabout approach, and left indicator before exit two.
That is not correct. On the approach you should not indicate at all, however you do a left indicator after you pass the first exit.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
You are riding slowly in the city or town centre. Why should you do a shoulder check to the left before turning left?
To check for cyclists or motorbikes.
Yep. When riding slowly in busy town centres be aware of cyclists and mopeds especially. They are quick and they can fit in narrow places. When turning left it is important to check if no one is trying to filter past you.
It will give me extra stability when turning left.
Absolutely non sense.
To look for any road signs on the left.
Wrong!! You should have looked for these way before turning.
You don´t need to do a shoulder check left.
Errrr… Yes you do. Try a different answer.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

You want to go to the 3rd exit. Which indicator should you use on the roundabout approach?
Right indicator.
Well answered. You position yourself right and  indicate right. don´t forget to position yourself on the inside the roundabout always indicating right until you reach the 2nd exit. Then switch your indicator to the left, do a should check left and if it is safe go across to the outside lanes towards the 3rd exit.
Hazard lights.
Wrong and no comments added!!!
None.
That is wrong. We should inform other road users about our maneuvering intentions. In this case you should use the right indicator.
Left indicator.
Wrong. Although you go around the roundabout by the left you should indicate right on the approach. ( Read the roundabout post of my blog for better understanding of this please)
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points


What is the passing sequence in this junction?
Yellow, Blue, Red.
Correct!!!
Red, Blue, Yellow.
That´s not right. The red one is the last to go as he is on a minor road. Try a different answer.
Blue, Red, Yellow.
Wrong! If you do that, you will end up having an accident. Although the blue one is on the main road, he must give way to the yellow one.
Yellow, Red, Blue.
It is wrong. The yellow is always the first to pass followed by the blue as he is on a main road as well. The red one is always the last except if road signs tell you otherwise.

Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
What´s the national speed limit on a single carriage way for motorcycles and cars?
60mph.
Yep, 60 mph on single carriage ways and 70mph on dual carriage ways.
90mph.
Exceeding the speed limits can be dangerous and may result in points on your license together with a fine. You should know the speed limit of a road by observing the road signs.
30mph.
That´s the max speed limit for built up areas such as towns or residential areas. Careful, riding way below the speed limit may not be safe as you will potentially create a congestion behind you.
50mph.
Wrong. It´s a little bit more. Try a different answer.
 
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

 
What is this sign?
Dual carriage ends.
Correct! Be aware of traffic merging from a dual lane into a single lane.
Road narrows.
Not right. That´s a different sign.
Dual carriage way starts ahead.
Wrong. This sign means exactly the opposite
No overtaking.
Wrong. I suggest you to re-do the quiz after reading the highway code book.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

 

What sign is this?
Give way to oncoming traffic.
Well answered!!!
Priority over oncoming traffic.
Be careful, that´s not quite right.
No overtaking.
Very wrong. Road signs are extremely important, by not understanding them we are putting our and other road users life at a high risk.
End of two way road.
Wrong!! Tomorrow it will be give way to oncoming traffic.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

 

What type of road signs are these?
Negative order or prohibition.
Correct!!!
Warning signs.
Nope. The triangles are warning signs.
Positive order signs.
Wrong!!! I recommend you to the highway code book again or my post entitled U.K.Road signs.
Information signs.
Ooops. I hope you didn´t answered this, otherwise you may have trouble on the road.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

What are the two dashed white lines inside the red box?
A give way road marking.
Exactly!!! In the absence of a vertical sign the dashed lines across tell you that you must give way to traffic.
It´s a stop line road mark.
It´s wrong. A stop line marked on the road is a continuous thick and single while line marked across the lane.
It means priority over other road users.
Absolutely not!!! If you think this was the correct answer you will end up having an accident.
Forbidden to stop on them.
Hell no!!!!
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
What should you be sure of before riding anyone´s else motorbike?
That your insurance covers riding other motorbikes than your own.
Some insurance companies don´t offer this option if you don´t require it. If you borrow a motorbike make sure you are allowed to ride it.
That the owner insured the motorbike.
Not correct. Even if the bike is insured you need to have your own insurance to ride other motorbikes.
That the owner has the insurance documents.
It´s wrong. You need to have your own insurance.
That the owner insured his motorbike at least with a 3rd party insurance.
It´s wrong. Again, you need to have your own insurance and it needs to cover riding other bikes than yours.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
Which of the following you should do before stopping at red traffic lights?
Check the mirrors.
Correct!!! By doing so you are getting aware of what´s happening behind you reducing the risk of being hit from behind.
Select a high gear.
Absolutely not!!! On the slow down you want to shift down gradually helping with the brakes until you come to a stop. During this process it is only wise and safe to check your mirrors so you can see what´s happening behind.
Sound the horn to warn others you are stopping.
Wrong answer!!! No comments added.
Get your legs out so when you stop you won´t fall.
That is a very wrong answer. Legs should be kept on the bike or operating the foot controls until the moment before you come to a full stop.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

 

What does this sign mean?
Minimum speed, 30mph.
That´s right, spot on!!!
Maximum speed, 30mph.
Wrong. Don´t mistake the circular red bordered 30 sign with this one.
Recommended 30mph.
Wrong answer. only if it was blue rectangle.
Road only for vehicles over 30 tonnes.
Wrong. A non sense answer just to prove you should read the highway code book before any attempt to drive or ride.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

You are riding your motorbike and you come across this sign, what is it telling you?
It is a bus lane sign and you are allowed to use it 24 hours, no restriction.
Correct. This bus lane is open to all vehicles shown on the sign. The time restriction is not applied to motorbikes.
It is a bus lane and you are not allowed to use it anytime.
Wrong. This bus lane is open to all vehicles shown on the sign including motorbikes, 24hours no restriction. 
You can use this bus lane only in the period shown underneath.
Wrong. The period of time on this sign is not for motorbikes, cars can drive on this bus lane but only OUT of the period shown underneath.
All vehicles shown on that sign are forbidden during the period shown.
Not right at all. It is exactly the opposite. I do recommend you to read the BUS LANES post on my blog.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
If traffic lights are out of order at a junction who has the right of way?
Nobody.
Correct!! You should treat that junction as an unmarked crossroad. Be prepared to stop or give way. Be aware of traffic attempting to cross the junction. Approach with extreme caution. 
Traffic going straight.
Wrong. You should treat that junction as an unmarked crossroad. Be prepared to stop or give way. Be aware of traffic attempting to cross the junction. Approach with extreme caution.
Traffic turning right.
 Wrong!! You should treat that junction as an unmarked crossroad. Be prepared to stop or give way. Be aware of traffic attempting to cross the junction. Approach with extreme caution.
Traffic turning left.
 Wrong!!! You should treat that junction as an unmarked crossroad. Be prepared to stop or give way. Be aware of traffic attempting to cross the junction. Approach with extreme caution.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points
Why are young motorcyclists more likely to have accidents and crashes?
Because they are inexperienced.
That´s right!! Over confidence and a bad judgement can lead a biker to take poor decisions getting them more exposed to an accident. It is important to develop skills and techniques to be safer on the road.
Because they do wheelies.
That´s right!! Over confidence and a bad judgement can lead a biker to take poor decisions getting them more exposed to an accident. It is important to develop skills and techniques to be safer on the road.
Because they are too slow.
Not right. Over confidence and a bad judgement can lead a biker to take poor decisions getting them more exposed to an accident. It is important to develop skills and techniques to be safer on the road.
Because they are too scared to be pulled over by the police.
Wrong. Over confidence and a bad judgement can lead a biker to take poor decisions getting them more exposed to an accident. It is important to develop skills and techniques to be safer on the road.
Correct at a first attempt 2 Points  
Correct at a second attempt 1 Point 
Correct at a 3rd or 4th attempts 0 points

 

SCORE:

BETWEEN 43 and 50:

Ace!!!! Well done!!!! You probably are a safe rider!!!

BETWEEN 25 and 42:

Not too bad, but the lower you scored in this range means that there´s space for improvement. Have a second read on the commuting posts and highway code book and come back to see if you got better.

BETWEEN 1 and 24:

Novice!!! You scored very low. This is not an official test but shows that you have a poor knowledge. You might not be safest on the road and it is only and wise to suggest you to buy or download “The DVSA official highway code” or “The Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Ride” books so you will become better and safer. On my site you can also find some good tips, however  I´m only showing the tip of the iceberg.

If you don´t ride and you want to ride, try to understand road signs and rules before you do  a CBT. It will be easier to go trough it and obtain your license.

 

The Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Ride

One  or both books will help you out to become a a safer, wiser and a better biker!!! Remember, we only have one life!!!

 

Hope you liked my quiz!!!

U.K. Road Signs

 

 

Understanding road signs is one of the most important components when we are driving or riding on public roads. Without a reasonable  knowlegde of these it will be very difficult to stay safe and to garanty for other road users safety, especially when we ride or drive in urban busy areas.
Road signs are the bible for anyone who drives, rides or is about to become a road user, so I decided to do this post where I will try to explain a few signs particularly for those who are less experienced or unfamiliar with the U.K. Road Signs.

 

   How To Understand Road Signs   

 RED BORDER CIRCLES– Normally prohibition signs or negative orders.
RED BORDER TRIANGLES– Normally warning signs.
 BLUE CIRCLES– Indicate a positive order or obligation. 
BLUE or WHITE RECTANGLES– Informative signs.
BLUE or GREEN backgrounds  and BLACK BORDER RECTANGLES,  or BROWN BACKGROUND RECTANGULAR- Direction signs, primary routes, secondary routes and other directions such as points of interest. 

 

PROHIBITION or NEGATIVE ORDER SIGNS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 WARNING SIGNS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important note:  The give way sign and Stop sign, both mean that we have no priority at a junction, We must stop to give way to any traffic from the left or right. The difference in between them is that on the give way sign you must look both sides, and in case it is safe to make a turn there is no need to stop at the junction. On the STOP sign, you must stop at the junction independently of any vehicle approaching or not.

 

POSITIVE ORDER or OBLIGATION SIGNS:

 

 

 

 

A FEW EXAMPLES OF INFORMATION SIGNS:

 

Example
NOTE: The “Right of way over oncoming vehicles” is always opposite to the “Give way to oncoming vehicles”  as shown on the example above.

 

 

DIRECTION SIGNS:

 

THE NATIONAL SPEED LIMIT AND ITS SIGN:

This road sign and meaning  apparently seems to generate confusion to most people so I hope this explanation can clarify my little audience about “the national speed limit”.  ( Please note that the value changes according to the type of vehicle we are using, and this post is more motorbike orientated.)

THE SIGN:

NEGATIVE ORDERS
National Speed Limit Applies

 

National Speed Limit
Max 60 MPH on Single carriageways
National Speed Limit
Max 60 MPH on dual carriageways separated by a single or dual continuous line

 

 

NATIONAL SPEED LIMIT
Max 70MPH on a dual carriageway with a physical divider (eg. Metal rail, pavement, etc)

ROAD MARKINGS:

Road markings are part of the highway code (our bible). They strongly contribute in  guidance, orientation and safety for any vehicle, motorist or pedestrian on the road. They shouldn´t be ignored at any time as their role is fulcral in order to keep the traffic flowing orderly. Also many road marks work in parallel with vertical signs and often replacing a traffic sign in its absence, so it is imperative we understand them.

 

Road Markings across the carriageway:
Road marking
Junction marking. Give way to any traffic on a major road. (Can also be at mini-roundabouts.)
Road Marking
Junction marking. Stopping line at a STOP SIGN.

 

 

 

 

 

Road marking
Give way to traffic on the right at a roundabout.
 Along the carriageway:

 

Road markingThis dashed central line separates a two way road or divides lanes on a road with two or more lanes. The dashed line along the road also indicates that overtaking is allowed on a two way road and changing lane in a road with two or more lanes is also allowed.
Road markingA central double white line separates a two way road or dual carriage way. Overtaking is allowed to the traffic on the dashed line side and a continuous white line forbids it to all traffic traveling  on opposite direction. 
Road marking Similar to the previous road marking. It can be on a two way road or a dual carriage way. In this case the continuous white central lines indicate that overtaking is on allowed to any traffic on both directions.  
Along the carriageway Stopping and Parking road marking restrictions:
Road marking
NOTE: Be aware that stopping time may vary from council to council or city to city and traffic wardens may operate in the area issuing penalties to enforce the rule.

 

Red Lines

 

Other road markings:

 

Other Road marking

Other road marking
Road Marking indicating direction of the lanes
NOTE: I only posted a few road signs, probably the most common signs you will find on the roads. There are way more signs and road markings (pedestrian crossings, yellow junction and bycicle boxes and more), so for a better knowledge I recomend you to read the highway code book. This post is merely to help out a bit those in need.
Leave your comment below if you feel like I should add anything else or mention other aspects than these. Thanks

Roundabouts

 

Roundabouts are intersections where multiple roads merge in order  to keep the traffic flowing without stopping or causing a big traffic congestion. The disadvantages can be a high density of traffic, so to use the correct approach and proccedure is imperative in order to keep us (bikers) safe.

 

 PRIORITY

In the majority of roundabouts around the U.K. you have to give way to any traffic approaching from your RIGHT, meaning that at the approach you MUST look RIGHT and be prepared to STOP and allow  any traffic coming from your RIGHT to pass. Only a few roundabouts work differently where you may need to stop on the roundabout to give way to the traffic entering. In that case there will be road markings and signs or traffic lights to inform. Otherwise, remember, on the approach, LOOK RIGHT and GIVE WAY to the traffic in the roundabout coming  from the RIGHT.
Roundabout priority
Car A must look RIGHT and STOP to give way to Car B

 

 

 

ROUNDABOUTS

 

 

 

 

 

These can all vary significantly in size and complexity; they can be single laned or have multiple lanes allowing the traffic to flow better; Big roundabouts may also have multi exits and be unmarked or road marked to help drivers to keep in lane. Advance warning signs not only inform you of a roundabout, but they may also inform you of its complexity, the direction you need to take and which lane is applicable to you based on your destination.  When dealing with a roundabout we should consider  a good observation to our imediate right on the approach, correct indication, lane positioning according to our destination exit and regular shoulder checks in order to avoid a colision or a near miss (I will talk about these further down).
MAKING A LEFT TURN OR ROUNDABOUT FIRST EXIT

Roundabout Left turn

1 As you approach the roundabout on the left lane, slow down, indicate left and access how busy the situation is. Alternate observations between your traveling direction and traffic to your right while approaching the roundabout.
2 Look right and be prepared to stop if necessary (give way to any traffic in the roundabout coming from your imediate right). Avoid stopping if the roundabout is clear on the right as this may result in a rear collision.
3 Keep to the left lane and keep your signal on. Just before you enter the new road, take a look into the right (shoulder check) for other vehicles that may also be entering the lane and cut you off.
4 Exit the roundabout and check your rear mirrors so that you know the situation all-round and position yourself on the middle of your lane if possible.
5 Ensure you cancel your indicators.
SECOND EXIT OR GOING STRAIGHT AHEAD

motorcycle-roundabout-going-ahead-300x413
1  As you approach the roundabout on the left lane, slow down  and access how busy the situation is. Alternate observations between your traveling direction and traffic to your right while approaching the roundabout. Don´t use any indicators at this stage. 
1a You can also use the right lane (if the left lane is busy or there is some obstruction for example), slow down  and access how busy the situation is. Alternate observations between your traveling direction and traffic to your left while approaching the roundabout . Do not use any indicators at this stage. 
2  Look right and be prepared to stop if necessary (give way to any traffic in the roundabout coming from your imediate right). Avoid stopping if the roundabout is clear on the right. Again, do not indicate!!!
 Keep on the selected lane. 
4 Signal to the left as you pass the last exit before the one you intend to go and do a shoulder check to the right just to ensure that there isn´t another vehicle driving alongside you with intention to merge into your path. 
4a Signal to the left as you pass the last exit before the one you intend to go and do a shoulder check to the left to make sure all is clear before crossing to the left lane. ( If there is another vehicle on the left lane and it is not safe to change lanes, proceed to another loop around the roundabout). 
5 Exit the roundabout into the middle of your lane (if possible), ensure you cancel your indicators and give a glance at your mirrors to observe what´s behind you.
MAKING A RIGHT TURN OR THIRD EXIT ON THE ROUNDABOUT
1 Signal to the right and apply the OSM routine ( observation/signal/maneuvre) if you are moving over into the lane on the right and remember to do a shoulder check to the right before changing lane.
2 Slow down on the roundabout approach, signal to the right and alternate observations between your traveling direction and to the  traffic on your left while approaching the roundabout.
Look right and be prepared to stop if necessary (give way to any traffic in the roundabout coming from your imediate right). Avoid stopping if the roundabout is clear on the right. Keep the signal on to the right.
4 Move into the roundabout on the inside lane. It is very important to keep the  signal to the right on.
Keep on the inside of the roundabout as you go around. Signal to the right is on.
As you pass the exit before yours, shift the signal to the left  and do a shoulder check to the left to ensure the left lane is clear as you intend to come across to the outside lane and exit the roundabout. ( In case there is a car on the left lane, do not move into its path and do another loop around the roundabout).
Exit the roundabout into the new road, cancel your signal to the left and position yourself in the middle of your lane (if possible) . Also check your mirrors to observe the situation behind you.

Not a rule, just a hint:

If the images and explanation above was a bit confusing to you here is another way to understand how most roundabouts work, however, this is not part of the highway code or a golden rule we can apply to all roundabouts… It is just a tip!!! 
BEFORE 12 O´CLOCK: lets consider that the roundabout is a clock, being the 12 o´clock straight ahead of us; I would say that any exit we intend to take before 12 o´clock (including 12 o´clock) the preferable route would be on the outside lane of the roundabout, there is no indication as we get into the roundabout ( except if we want to leave the roundabout at the first exit) and indication is only given to the left after the exit before our exit. In other words, we only indicate to the left to show our intention to leave the roundabout before our exit.
PAST 12 O`CLOCK: Any exit we intend to take after 12 o´clock, it is considered a right turn, so we should always signal right on the roundabout approach, and moving into the inside lane of the roundabout always signaling right, to then after the exit before our exit signal left as we intend to leave the roundabout and do a shoulder check to the left as we want to move to the outside lane before exiting the roundabout. 
By doing so, we are communicating about our traveling direction to the other drivers, reducing accident risk. At the same time, the correct observation and lane positioning will help towards a good traffic flow at a reduced risk or getting involved in an accident. 
Hope this little tip helped you guys out!!!

MINI-ROUNDABOUTS

 

 

mini-roundabout-sign
U.K. Mini-Roundabout road sign 
Mini Roundabouts are normally small and you will find them in quieter areas. They are painted in white on the road with orientation arrrows. The white painted circle may have some elevation or not. Mini roundabouts can also be simple or complex being the latest multiple mini roundabouts.

 

 

 

 

RULES:
  • Mini-Roundabouts are pretty straight forward, treat them as junctions but give way to any traffic in the Mini-Roundabout  at your imediate  right;
  •  Indicate if you plan to do a right turn or left turn; If you go straight ahead no need to indicate at all;
If you encounter a complex mini-roundabout with 2 or more mini-roundabouts, deal with them independently giving always the way to the vehicle travelling inside them; Always follow the way indicated by the road mark arrows and don´t cut across the white circle as the white paint can be very slippery.

Roundabout examples:

 

 

 

 

Riding Safely

Commuting to work every day on two wheels may greatly cut costs and time at an expense that we are more vulnerable to the weather and more exposed to injury, so here’s a few tips to ensure that you stay safe:

Clothing:

With more traffic on the road than out in the country side, not forgetting pedestrians and cyclists all over the place, it is imperative that we get better seen by other road users. Therefore make sure you have reflective clothing on, such as a hi-vis vest or reflective stripes on your jacket/trousers and rucksack (if you carry one) to ensure you are seen. Also clothing with elbow, shoulders, back and knee pads are well recommended just to offer that extra protection in a fall event. Make sure you wear gloves to protect you from abrasion and weather elements. Boots should be comfortable and able to protect your ankles and feet in general ( avoid steel toe cap boots as they may collapse. If a vehicle goes over your foot it can chop off your toes like butter). Adjust your clothing to the weather conditions as it is very important to feel comfortable and to be  warm while riding, especially during winter time where temperatures are very low (you can always put some layers on to keep you warm). Remember that the wrong gear during a heat spell may affect your concentration levels on the road as well, getting you more exposed to unnecessary risks.
Motorbike clothing
What should we wear on the road.

Slow down:

Often when riding in a city centre you won’t have the choice to go fast because heavy traffic will prevent it. Overtaking a car in heavy traffic won’t save you more than 10/15 seconds along your journey. When a small gap appears, there is the temptation to go through it quickly; chances are that if you have seen it, maybe other bikers or cyclists spotted it too… Slow down, take your time, watch your surroundings and make sure it is a safe move. By doing everything slower you will have more time to think about your (and other people’s) decisions, which also increases your hazard perception and the amount of time you have to react to them. ( As an example, think of that pedestrian or cyclist who is completely unaware of your presence or approach and jumps into your path coming from in between parked up cars)
When you ride in heavy traffic ( especially during the rush hours) you will find impatient drivers who will behave in an unsafely manner in an attempt to beat traffic. Consequentely they are more subject to be angry and distracted with gadgets such as mobile phones (unfortunately), talking to other occupants and might not see you as you approach, pass by or respect you as a road user; at the end you already have the advantage towards them as we rarely get stuck in traffic, meaning that their impatience and imprudence has to be your patience and prudence in order for you to do a safe journey. Again, when in heavy traffic in the city, RIDE DEFENSIVELY  AND SLOW DOWN!!!
 

Filtering:

One of the major advantages of being on a motorcycle in the city is that you can filter in-between traffic queues and it is legal to do so, however this should be done cautiously:
  • people tend to cross roads in between queueing cars and don’t expect bikes or bycicles to appear in between. You may want to consider doing a slow speed not exceding more than 10 mph to the traffic around, constantly looking ahead and trying to have a visual for pedestrians or bycicles that can potentially emerge in front of you coming from the front of queueing cars. If ahead there´s a van or a lorry and you can´t have a good visual of what´s ahead of it, take extra care and slow down just to be prepared that you may have to come to a sudden stop as you approach its front.
    filtering
    Always scan for them and be prepared for the unexpected
  • Watch out for cars changing lanes suddenly without indicating;

Filtering

  • Car doors opening and car mirrors;
Filtering
If you are going too fast you you will have a problem here.
  • Be aware that a driver may do an unexpected U-turn without signaling as he might not be considering a motorbike filtering;

    Filtering
    If you go too fast you won´t be able to escape it!!
  • Be careful of hidden cars turning right or cars coming from a left road when you are flitering;

     

  • Avoid filtering in between two long large vehicles;

    Filtering
    If one of those need to avoid an obstruction you will be in a very compromising and dangerous situation.
  • Careful when filtering on the opposite lane and there is a road coming from a left road;
    Filtering
    The green car turning right won´t be expecting you in the wrong lane!

Positioning:

You should ride normally in the middle of your lane in the front line of vision of the driver behind you, not in their peripheral vision such as too close to the kerb or too close to the opposite lane as it may be not very safe. ( Of course, sometimes we have to sacrifice that mid lane positioning, for example if there are parked up cars on the side of the road, if there´s an obstruction or if it is a secondary narrow road, bend etc).
Positioning
Preferable riding position when the road is clear ahead.
Also you want to consider your lane positioning when you are turning to the left or to the right at junctions. It is always a good idea to be the closest you can to the pavement if you are turning left at a junction or close to the right end of your lane if turning right. By doing so, you are claiming your position and preventing any other road users to put you in a compromising situation. Also by doing that you are not blocking traffic from going to other directions. Here are a few examples:
Positioning
Junction left turn example
Positioning
Major road to a right minor road example.
Positioning
Junction right turn
Often people fail to use their turn signals, or even fail to check their blind spots, so keep alert and out of the blind spots of other vehicles. Place yourself so that if the driver unexpectedly moves into your lane, he will do so without hitting you. Be ready to use the horn or rev the engine to alert others of your presence. Plan ahead; look for obstructions like traffic islands, bollards, side roads where vehicles might emerge or turn across your path and be always prepared to take an action if necessary.

Parking:

In the U.K. parking can be a bit tricky, specially in the big cities where traffic wardens are always looking to fine that badly parked motorbike. Avoid parking on single yellow lines or double yellow lines for too long during daytime, never on single and double red lines. Different councils have different rules as well, so the best would be to find a motorbike parking bay or a motorbike designated area. If you actually commute to London or other major city, motorbike theft may be quite on high levels, so consider chaining your motorbike into a rail or to use at least a good disc lock to discourage thieves from stealing your mule. Some motorcycle bays are constantly packed with bikes, so a bike cover would help to prevent scratches on your bike done by someone not being careful enough and to protect from weather elements.

Very Important:

A bike will always lose in a collision with a car. You may have had the right of way, but do you really want to be dead? Making yourself more visible to other drivers, and most of all remaining aware of what is around you and in your line of travel will make you safer on the road. you must always consider these three questions;
  • What can I see?

  • What can´t I see?

  • What may happen?

Ride defensively; Expect the unexpected; Be prepared; Plan ahead and anticipate at all times by constantly scanning for hazards.
In the U.K we teach riders to always do the “Lifesaver” or “shoulder check”.

What’s that?

  • Its something as simple as to turn the chin to the shoulder to the left, right or both sides and look in order to cover the spot that the mirrors can´t. (also known as BLIND SPOTS)

When do we do it?

  • Before you change lanes;
  • positioning in lane to turn left or right;
  • before avoiding an obstruction;
  • before moving off from traffic lights or stationary traffic;
  • Basically before any maneuvre (such as a U-turn or an overtaking maneuvre in between others)
You’d be surprised how many times you’ll find a car or another motorbike riding along or even a bycicle stopped on a red light just next to you in your blind spots. Also when riding in the city get used to give a glance at your mirrors often ( Ideally with an interval of 7-10 seconds).
I could develop this post into way more detail and cover other points, but you will have to wait until the next post.

Hope you found this helpful!!!

Bus Lanes

Let´s talk about bus lanes!!!

Bus Lane
Typical British Bus Lane

Are we motorcyclists allowed on them?

Well, yes and no!!! The rule is simple, unless it is clearly indicated by signage, you should assume that a bus lane cannot be used by motorbikes within the bus lane’s operating hours. 
Allowing motorcycles in bus lanes provides consistency for riders avoiding confusion and unnecessary risk. Other benefits include reduced motorcycle journey times giving you way more safe space than filtering down the outside or in between lanes of stationary traffic. Be aware of vehicles turning across your path, though. Look for gaps in the traffic that may be letting a vehicle turn from the opposite carriageway and be especially vigilant on vehicle front wheels near left hand turns; if they haven’t indicated, you might buy yourself some extra stopping time by spotting that turning wheel and always bearing in mind that you might be on their blindspot and therefor they pull to a left minor or major road in a blinking eye. Also be aware that buses have priority when moving off from a Bus Stop, so if you have one bus indicating right and he is starting to move you may want to slow down a bit and let him get into the lane.

Understanding  the Bus Lane signage:

 

Bus Lane sign 
Note the motorcycle silhouette on this sign
If you find this blue Bus Lane sign on the road where you have a motorcycle silhouette inprinted, it means that you are allowed to use it even during the period of time showing underneath. In this case there is a time restriction in between 7am-7pm ( You will find signs with different time restrictions as well) which are enforced to 4 wheeled vehicles other than buses, coaches or taxis meaning that we are allowed to use it 24/7. 

 

Bus Lane sign
On this sign there is no motorcycle silhouette.
 As you can see, there is no motorcycle sillhouette on this sign. That means that we are not allowed on this bus lane during the period indicated on the sign (remember that times may vary). However we are allowed to ride on this Bus Lane out of the time period indicated on the sign. Simplifying it by other words, we can make use of this Bus Lane the same way that cars do.

 

 

 

 

If you find these two types of Bus Lane signs, simply do not make use of them at anytime as the only authorised vehicles are buses, coaches, taxis bycicles and emergency vehicles. 

 

bus lane cameras sign
You will get a fine for sure!!!
Adding to the signs, be aware that most if not all bus lanes have cameras to catch any vehicle breaking the rules and if you get into a bus lane which you aren´t allowed to go, you will be fined most likely. Always check the sign at the beginning of a bus lane, as in some places you may have a bus lane which allows you to ride on it, but at the next bus lane you may not be allowed to ride in. Regarding times, it´s always better to give some time allowance about the starting up and ending time of the bus lane restriction. 

wishing you safe journeys!!!!