The best and fastest way to get from A to B by car can be the worst way to get there on a bicycle, Cycling Action Network instructor Julian Hulls says.
He advised cyclists to choose routes with fewer and slower vehicles - parks, cycleways, dead end streets with walkways rather than busy main roads.
He and fellow instructor Will Andrews were in Whanganui on Monday to give a Share the Road workshop for 12 cyclists. The cyclists were contacted through the networks of Lyneke Onderwater and Norman Gruebsch, and between them had 390 years' biking experience.
The workshop started from a room at the Splash Centre, then took the cyclists in a loop around the central city, with stops to talk on the way.
Its special focus was cyclist safety around heavy vehicles like trucks and buses. The cyclists heard about avoiding a truck's blind spots.
"Once they understand that they will know they shouldn't try to squeeze past heavy vehicles waiting at lights. It's better to wait behind them, because you get more warning if they move backwards."
If cyclists really have to squeeze past a truck at the lights, it's better to do it on the right hand side, Mr Hulls said. The left hand side has a big blind spot.
Cyclists also learned how to control their bikes using gears and brakes, and were told to make themselves visible, make sure they see drivers and make sure drivers know what they are going to do.
The workshop was funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency. More can be held if they are requested.
Heavy vehicle drivers get parallel education about cyclist safety as part of their on-the-job training, Mr Hulls said.