Road Cycling Safety Tips
While cycling is a great pastime, a fun activity, a perfect form of a full-body workout, and gives you an exhilarating feeling, you have to pay attention to your safety at the same time while you ride through traffic and different terrains.
We have put together a few checks that you must do before you start your ride and be alert and mindful while riding.
1. Ensure that your bicycle is road safety-ready by doing a pre-ride check to ensure that no untoward, unexpected situation should occur while on your ride.
2. If your route takes you through roads that are not well lit or riding post sundown, you need to have a front white light and a blinking backlight. You can also add reflective stickers and tapes, which would alert other vehicles to your presence.
As a Rider
1. Follow the same rules as you would do if you were driving. Do not ride if you are sleep-deprived and intoxicated. In both situations, you will not be a safe rider and will not be in a position to control the bicycle and will have a slower reaction time in case of an accident.
2. Always wear a well-fitting helmet to minimize head injuries in the event of an accident or a fall.
3. It would do you well to wear reflective clothing or a vest to let other riders and drivers be aware of your presence while cycling during evening and night hours,
While on The Road
1. Preferably use bike-only lanes wherever possible, even if it means travelling a few extra kilometres.
2. Follow the road rules; they are for all vehicles, including bicyclists. Use signals or hand gestures to indicate to other riders and drivers whether you are turning left, right, slowing down, or stopping.
3. Do not ride on one side of a lane but own the road lane like you would do while driving a car, ensuring your visibility and avoiding possible accidents.
4. Stay a doors breadth away from a parked car. Many cyclists have been knocked down from their bicycles with clueless car occupants suddenly swinging their vehicle doors without checking.
5. A bicycle in motion is noiseless and can suddenly creep up on unsuspecting pedestrians. Use a bicycle bell to warn them of your presence.
6. Drive along with vehicular traffic like you would do while driving a car. Zipping through and weaving in and out of lanes though permissible and possible, is dangerous for the bike rider. Very often, they fall in the blind spot of the motor vehicle, and accidents can occur.
7. If group cycling, ride one behind the other instead alongside each other.
1. Just as you would in a car, do not use your mobile phone, headphones or earphones while riding.
2. Avoid reaching out to take a sip of water while riding. You can easily park by the side of the road and quench your thirst.
3. Your eyes should stay focused on the road and surroundings. Anticipate the unexpected. For instance, pedestrians walking unaware onto the road, vehicles pulling out from side streets and driveways, vehicles braking suddenly up ahead because of a hazard
Riding amidst vehicular traffic is a deterrent to many cyclists. Being mindful and alert to stay safe while cycling is empowering and can give a rider the confidence required to go out and enjoy the numerous physical and mental health benefits that cycling brings.
Would you like to share tips that you consider essential to be a safe cyclist? If yes, wed love to hear from you. Do write to us in the comments section below.
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