I believe that cycling safely in traffic means being part of the traffic. This includes occupying the lane rather than hugging the kerb and asserting your right to be there. This isn’t always easy and in hilly Sheffield you do have to recognise that climbing some of the hills requires a measure of defensive positioning – if you are moving at 7 mph and cars are passing you at 30mph there is little choice.
Descending fast needs good brakes. Initially my first Tikit caused me some concern in this respect, but with advice from the Bike Friday Yak group I swapped out the pads for some Kool Stop Salmons. Highly effective, but tough on the rims. The disc brakes on my Alfine Tikit are just the business, enabling me to confidently descend at speed. The importance of this is illustrated in the video where you see I need to leave a bus lane on the left, occupy the main traffic lane and then rapidly turn right.
The video was recorded at 8am on 29 January before it was fully light – a first test of the GoPro HD Hero mounted on my helmet. Quite impressed. It captures what you can see looking forward, but the vertical range of your eyes is far wider than the camera and when you look to the side your eyes swivel but the camera doesn’t!