The issue of what is the normal cycling position was raised at the last ITO group meeting following the proposed changes suggested by Francesca who pointed out that the term ‘normal riding position’ is currently used in the NS (E.g. 8.3 and 17.3) to describe the secondary position. There was then some brief debate about how the secondary position should be described.
The level 2 outcomes are written as though the trainee approaches a hazard in the secondary position and then moves into the primary position to deal with that hazard. For example, 8.1 ‘On approaching a side road trainees should look over their shoulder then move into the primary position’ or 11.1 ‘In advance of the junction, the trainee must observe behind, move into the primary position…’
It seems to me that whilst the ‘normal position’ for cycling on busy roads for a person who is able to keep up with the speed of the traffic flow is the primary position, the normal position for a child cycling slowly on quiet roads (when not actively dealing with a hazard) may be the secondary position as there will be few instances where they will be travelling at the speed of the traffic flow.
Road positioning will clearly vary depending on how busy the roads are which are being used and at level 3 the normal position is much more likely to be in primary. It will also depend on factors such as the volume of parked cars.
As currently written it seems to me the NS reads as though the default (normal) position is secondary in the level 2 outcomes. As the Level 3 outcome 3 (understanding advanced road positioning) reasoning section states ‘The primary position is the default position for negotiating level 3 junctions’
It would be useful to get others’ views on this.
Yes I agree that this needs clarifying
I have always understood that riding primary when the rider can match the speed of the moving traffic or because they need to due to a hazard (Narrowing, Parked cars etc) is evident from the inception of the National Standard. Other terms such as Normal riding position meaning left hark back to cycling proficiency and are best avoided.
In this time when our towns and cities are looking at how cyclists are accommodated and 20mph are being considered and rolled out. teaching people to be part of the traffic (and pass queuing traffic on the right, not left) makes encouraging cyclists to ride as part of traffic claiming the space they need is more crucial.
Is this a discussion abput the language or the position?
I suppose I have an issue with the concept of a normal riding position since this is so dynamic and flexible depending on hazards, speed and more.
Agree with that. It has to be dynamic, level 2 outcomes most definately include taking the lane, primary position. So there isnt a 'normal' theres Primary and secondary,
Im using the following to teach more able groups as the words are a bit big for year 5s, but will be adding these to any level 3 work-
ask trainees- what are you doing- right now, where are you on road?
they are either ' inviting' (meaning inviting others past them, secondary )
or, 'asserting' (meaning taking the lane, primary)
this is likely to change, often, especially with urban cycling, its dynamic, aware, quicker than other forms or traffic.
because we have to be.
new blog post, with thanks to David.
Nice post @j.m.feria-sport
sounds like you're having a ball
Some discussion about this point at the Consistency sessions (https://tabs.microco.sm/conversations/205/#comment1920)
General view was that that trainees eventually learn the principle of being in or out of the stream of traffic and at the start of training learning that riding a car door away from parked car is a good guidance as to where the primary position is. Another take is that a rider can allow or prevent overtaking depending on the circumstances. most agreed that mentioning meters/feet from the kerb isn't helpful
Young people struggle with such measurements.
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