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If You Can’t See My Handlebars…

VecchioJo offers advice on how to survive a sportive.

…I Cant See You.

We want cyclists to stay safe when cycling near other vehicles, especially larger ones, like sportive riders. The safety advice is simple, “Stay safe, stay away”.

The “Stay safe, stay away” advice applies to cyclists when cycling near to moving Sportive riders or approaching any stationary Sportivists on the road, at junctions, traffic lights, on climbs or at feed stations. It's important to stay out of the risk zone and get into a position where the sportive rider can see you over their Garmin.

Follow our tips below to find out how to protect yourself.


Safety tips

Cycle sensibly and assertively to help yourself. Stay safe, especially at traffic lights, junctions, corners, straight roads, climbs, descents, and anywhere that might be a Strava segment. 

* Recognise that sportive riders may not be able to see you, and are often oblivious to your presence.

*Never cycle up the left side of a sportivist riding in the middle of the road.

*Look out for sportive riders wandering left or right for no reason in front of you.

*If a rider comes up behind you, move forward enough merely to ensure you are in the sportivist’s field of vision and in no way to try and drop them. 

*In front of a Sportive rider is often the safest place to be. When you need to overtake a large sportivist, do so on the right-hand side at speed, so that the rider can’t keep up with you.


Be Aware

The risk zone area can be the full length and width of the road, with the sportivist unable to see anyone cycling beside them on the left, or the right. 

*Both new and experienced cyclists have been hurt in collisions with sportivists. This often happens when a sportive rider veers left to stop on a climb, to look at the view, to take off his gilet, to put on his arm-warmers or turn into a feed zone, hitting innocent cyclists on the nearside.

*Don't assume any large gap between sportivists is safe. When veering across the road for no reason large riders often wobble over to the right before they swing sharply across to the left to stop. 

*Don't risk your life by trying to pass sportive riders when they are stopped at junctions, they may simply be confused by the arrows and could suddenly turn either left or right. Wait until they have moved on, and turn the other way.


“Stay safe, stay away” is dedicated to reducing sportivists danger to cyclists through the use of awareness and reliability trials.

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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