Cycling began in the nineteenth century and has since become a popular means of transportation. In some regions, bikes are the primary means of conveyance. They don’t require fuel, don’t create any pollution, and offer an excellent workout. Many cyclists use the Retul bike fit system to get a bike that fits all their personal needs and measurements.
However, riding on a bike comes with potential for disaster. Bicycle related accidents happen frequently, especially when motorists fail to share the road with cyclists. Here are five tips to help you ride your bike safely.
1. Know your cycling safety laws.
Every city has its own cycling and bike safety laws, which are usually posted online. Know your safety rules to keep out of trouble. Most commonly, cyclists ride on the wrong side of the street. Ride with traffic to increase your visibility to cars pulling out of driveways and side streets. It’s more likely that a car will hit you while making a turn or pulling onto the road than from behind.
Bike safety laws also teach you the right of way and what to do in the event of an accident.
2. Wear a helmet.
Many people don’t wear helmets, either out of comfort or style, and in many states, adult cyclists don’t have to wear helmets. While they won’t keep you from getting hit by a car, helmets will protect your head from serious injuries that could otherwise kill you. You may well get into a few scrapes in your bike-riding life, but it’s much easier to mend a broken arm than a broken head. Your local San Diego bike shop is the best place to start your search for a sturdy helmet.
3. Learn to navigate city traffic.
City traffic still poses plenty of problems to cyclists. Close quarters, sudden lane changes, and angry motorists all make cycling through city traffic quite difficult. When riding in the city, choose slower, wider streets that are less congested. They may take you out of your way, but you’ll save time in the long run. These routes tend to be much more scenic as well.
4. Make sure drivers notice you.
Motorists have all kinds of distractions and things to think about. Unfortunately, cyclists aren’t always at the top of their “List of Things to Look Out For,” which is why you have to watch out for them. Don’t pass a car on the right side. Don’t ride in a car’s blind spot. They may turn or make a lane change without signaling.
The farther left of the curb you are, the better the motorists will see you. Put distance between you and the curb so that drivers behind you and on side streets will see you. For narrower roads, don’t be afraid to take the entire lane. You may need to make a road bike trade-in to accommodate smaller streets or roads filled with more obstacles.
5. Be doubly aware at night.
Cycling at night is even more dangerous as drivers can’t see cyclists until it’s too late. Do everything in your power to make you and your bike visible. Purchase a headlight and flashing red light for the rear or of your bike. Wear reflective clothing and add reflective stickers to your bike.