Cycling has grown to be more than just a hobby or a way of trimming down our waistlines. Nowadays, there are more bikes on the road than there are in the garages. The road sign of a disciplined biker and a keen motorist is becoming more and more noticeable and necessary. No matter your reason for hopping on your bike, here are golden tips on how to ensure safety and fun!
Road safety on a bike: guide to ride safely.
1. Know and follow all rules.
We published some days ago our simple guide to ensure the safety of cyclists and other road users that contains a reminder of the rules that should be followed while using your bike.
2. Ensure that other motorists can see you.
- Ride your bike in the same direction as the rest of the traffic.
- Ride on marked bike lanes (if available).
- Obey all traffic signs like stop signs and red lights.
- Be keen when biking with children. Some places have a law against carrying very young kids on the bike. You are also required to have a child carrier because carrying them on the handlebars is extremely dangerous!
- Depending on where you are, confirm whether it is legal to drive on expressways and highways.
- Watch out for slippery roads, especially during wet weather.
The last thing you want when biking is to be invisible. You can make yourself more visible on the road by using your bell to warn pedestrians and giving clear signals.
3. Have safety gear.
Protecting yourself with appropriate cycling gear can save your life. Ensure that whenever you are riding your bike, you have a helmet, a bell, efficient brakes, working headlight and taillight and reflectors.
4. Look out for vehicles.
Both motorists and cyclists are responsible for driving safely and following traffic signs and rules. Sadly, some collisions take place because the biker did not wait for the vehicle ahead to signal. Confirm whether the vehicle is turning or not, before making a move on a turn.
Be keen on large vehicles like lorries and buses, especially at junctions, roundabouts and corners, where collisions are possible.
5. Do not use your phone.
Using your phone on the road is a common and careless mistake made by motorists and cyclists. All it takes is a split second of receiving a call, replying to a text or checking the time on the road, for an accident to happen. Also, try not to use your earphones because they can make it difficult for you to hear oncoming pedestrians and vehicles.
6. Look over your shoulder every now and then.
No matter how much you are enjoying the ride or how late you are to your destination, always look behind your shoulder to be more aware of the traffic and to make eye contact with other motorists.
7. Make confident signals.
While still holding onto the handlebar with your right hand, use the left arm to signal. If you are not perfect at signalling, try practising in an area with little traffic.
8. Get Cycling Training.
Whether you are a beginner or just someone seeking to perfect their biking skills, getting a trainer will help you. Ensure that you receive quality and detailed training that will help you navigate on all routes, from the streets to busy roads and highways.
As a cyclist, remember to respect other bikers, motorists and pedestrians. Disregarding any rule or tip could cost you. By staying focused on the road, obeying traffic rules, applying protective gear and getting relevant training, your cycling experience will be more delightful and safe!