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Biking to work? Stay safe!


Critical Mass has become a tradition for the Bike2Work campaign at CERN
Critical Mass is a cycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month; its purpose is not usually formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city or town streets on bikes. (Image: CERN)

Now that the 2018 Bike to Work campaign has drawn to a close, CERN can be proud of a record turnout of cyclists, and we hope you’ll keep on cycling – safely – through the summer months, joined by a large number of this year’s cohort of CERN summer students.

Although June passed off safely by and large, there were nevertheless some avoidable accidents, so here are some tips to help you reach your destination safely…

  1. Sometimes it might seem cool to have the power of invisibility, but not when you’re on a bike. When you’re perched up there in the saddle, surveying all around you, it’s easy to forget that you can be hard for drivers to see. Be visible. Wear high visibility clothing and consider using lights even in daylight.
  2. Remember that just about every kind of vehicle on the road is bigger and more robust than you. In any ambiguous situation, it’s better to relinquish your priority than your life.
  3. At a junction, if you have not made eye contact with a driver, it’s better to assume they have not seen you than risk an accident.
  4. The Saint-Genis-Pouilly roundabout is the scene of many accidents. As a cyclist using the cycle lane to cross the road, you do not have priority over the vehicles using the road. Unless drivers clearly indicate that they are allowing you to cross, you must give way. And remember, in some places the cycle path crosses two lanes of traffic, so make sure that both are stopping to let you cross.
  5. If you haven’t already taken CERN’s safety course for cyclists, it’s time to do so. Sign-up here!
  6. And if you’d like further food for thought, coupled with good advice, take a look at this Swiss website: http://www.stayin-alive.ch/. It’s available in French, German and Italian and, although designed for motorcyclists, much of the information is equally relevant for anyone travelling on two wheels!

Keep on pedalling, and stay safe!

Doris Forkel-Wirth, Head of the HSE Unit, and Jens Vigen, CERN’s Bike to Work coordinator