The vast majority of drivers are patient, courteous and very accommodating but there’s a small percentage of drivers who really let the side down. We have spent the best part of 20 hours cycling this week and we’ve seen it all!

– Someone driving, whilst rolling a cigarette
– People looking at their phones, not at the road
– Drivers underestimating how fast we’re going and pulling out on us
– Motorists breaking the speed limit to pass us when we’re cycling at the national speed limit (!)
– Lots of people getting so close we could practically touch them
– General verbal abuse. One man even sped past and stuck his finger up at us – we still can’t fathom out why, maybe he was just having a bad day?

We love our sport and there are so many high’s – but a small percentage of drivers make cycling pretty scary and stressful at times.

We both agree we’ve been much better drivers since being cyclists – a good idea maybe for the DVLA to consider that learner drivers should have to ride a bike, on a main road, before passing their test just to see how it feels to be overtaken? It’s amazing how much more courteous you are once you realise how scary it can be when a driver gets too close. So close that you could actually touch their car.

We need space.

We’re often dealing with a headwind, or side winds, that might push us off course a little in the road. We’re also avoiding things in the road that you can’t see, or that wouldn’t bother you, as a driver. We need room to swerve out the way of things that come into our path. If you’re too close we choose between hitting whatever is in our path – or you.

Most cyclists we know are good road users who abide by the Highway Code, but of course we’re human and sometimes we make a bad call. If we make a mistake the cost is that we’re likely to get hurt – a good motivator for behaving appropriately and following the rules of the road. However we are the ones who’re likely to come off worst if a driver makes a bad decision. Our safety depends on our good riding and good judgement – and we rely on the drivers around us to make good decisions too. The consequences for us are great, we’re pretty vulnerable only in lycra on a road bike travelling at speeds up to 25mph (or faster going down hills!).

We are not just cyclists. We are daughters, sisters, friends, colleagues, a wife and a mother. We (cyclists) are on the road doing something we love, trying to get fit, save money or the planet by riding.

The Highway Code says you should give cyclists as much room as you would when overtaking a car – even if you have to wait for a few extra seconds. Trust me, it makes the world of difference to us.