by Holly Seear
There are lots of minor reasons why you should keep away from the curb, such as;
But far more importantly, think about where a driver sits in their car...on the right, near the centre of the road, they are looking ahead most of the time (assuming they are not texting, fiddling with a SatNav, drinking, looking at the kids in the back, lighting a cigarette or changing the radio station, and therefore not even looking at the road). Anything on or near the kerb is only in their peripheral vision at the very best. At worst they won’t even see you if you are riding here, or if you are only travelling slowly a driver may think you are stationary and won’t take into account your forward progress when pulling back in after passing you.
By riding tight to the kerb you actually encourage motorists to drive dangerously, they are likely to think they are able to squeeze past you and remain on the left hand side of the road instead of making a full overtaking manoeuvre as they would if passing another car.
The ideal position for normal riding is about 1 metre from the kerb, this ensures you are in the line of vision for the driver and that to overtake they will have to wait until there is no oncoming traffic and pull over to the right hand side of the road giving you plenty of space. This is the very first thing discussed on a Bikeability course. There is of course no guarantee that all drivers will overtake safely and correctly, but by putting yourself in the correct position on the road you will be encouraging this behaviour and keeping yourself safe. Try it.