When I teach a group of kids on how to cycle on the road, I quite often find a quiet T-junction or quiet side road to talk them through the drill we are about to teach them. Mainly so that we can walk around the junction or take them out on the road so they can see what we are taking about, e.g. the door zone etc. The reason for the quiet roads is that it is probably the first time they cycle on the roads and therefore are a little nervous.

While running around showing them what is what, the odd car will be coming along, great to show them that they can stand where they are and the car will not KILL THEM DEAD !!! They will always shout out “car is coming” and move back, great, even though the car is at the other end of the road. Often I have spotted the car long time before them and am just standing where I am to show them that it is safe to be there and let the car move past.

When we ask them to do the first drill for the first time, Starting and Stopping, where they have to cycle on their own between one instructor down the road to the other instructor. They always wait, wait and wait until the road is clear even they could easily have finished the drill before the other road user had arrived. The main reason for that is that they are just so scared of the cars.

But on the other hand they are simply glued to the parked cars they are passing when doing the drill or following the lead instructor while snaking to and from the drill site. They pass the parked cars with less than an inch to spare even after we have told them about the doors on the parked cars.

So please when cycling stay outside the “door zone” or said in a different way “a length of a door and a little bit more” while passing parked cars. It will help to cut down on one of the main reasons why cyclist are getting hurt while cycling.