Cycling can be a great way to get to your destination. Whether you’re looking to save money, keep fit, or lead a lifestyle that is kinder to the environment, cycling to work and the other places that you need to get to can be one of the best ways to achieve this. However, cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users, especially when riding in busy traffic. Whether you’ve recently decided to switch to cycling more often or are considering investing in a bike to get all the benefits, here are some key safety tips that all cyclists should follow.
Wearing a Helmet
In some states, wearing a helmet when cycling is compulsory by law and you might be fined or otherwise penalized for failing to do so. However, even if it’s not illegal to ride without a helmet in your state, it is a wise idea to never get on your bike without one. A huge percentage of cycling injuries and deaths are caused by not wearing a helmet or wearing one that is unsuitable. Spend some time researching different options and determine how to choose a cycling helmet that offers you the best protection.
While having insurance might not prevent you from being involved in a collision or accident while riding your bike, it can certainly provide you with peace of mind and financial protection. Bike insurance will pay out if your bicycle is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced after an accident, and you may be able to get the coverage that will pay for any medical bills you incur. Velosurance is a great place to look at with a wide range of insurance policy options that are designed to suit any kind of cyclists. Along with being a reputable insurance provider for cyclists, Velosurance offers a lot of handy advice for bike safety, such as how to choose a bicycle helmet and more.
While riding your bike, it’s important to make sure that you give other road users the best chance of seeing you in good time. This is especially important if you are riding in the dark, but wearing fluorescent clothing and bright lights can also be very useful during the day. A fluorescent yellow or orange vest can be seen from much further away compared to your regular clothing and can make all the difference to your safety on the roads.
Service Your Bike
Bikes certainly do not need as much attention as cars do when it comes to servicing and regular maintenance, but you should still ensure that your bike is seen by a professional at least once a year to ensure that it is in good condition. Bikes malfunctioning and breaking down are a common cause of road accidents involving cyclists.
Understand Road Rules and Signals
Riding on the road when you are unaware of the rules that you need to follow and how to appropriately signal other road users when you are turning or making another maneuver can be very dangerous. Before you begin cycling on the roads, familiarize yourself with the national and local rules and learn the various hand signals that you should give to ensure that other road users know what you are going to do next.
Carry a Repair Kit
A repair kit can be very useful if you run into any problems with your bike while you are on the road. Bikes breaking down are a common reason for accidents, so being able to repair your bike quickly and safely can make all the difference. You might also want to consider getting a bike breakdown cover, where you can call somebody to come and help you if you’re unable to fix the bike yourself.
Carry Your Phone
Getting a dedicated phone holder for your bike and carrying a portable charger for long journeys can be a wise idea. You will need your phone in the event of an emergency to contact the police and an ambulance if you need one. A phone with a camera can also be very useful for taking photos of accident scenes and recording the contact information for other parties and witnesses.
If you go on long bike tours often, consider investing in gadgets, such as a smartwatch, a bike computer, and a cycling power meter. A smartwatch can serve as a fitness tracker and let you send and read messages and make and answer calls. Meanwhile, a power meter measures cadence and power and transfers that data to the bike computer, which then converts the information into easy-to-digest numbers and graphs. These three gadgets make riding and tracking cycling performance more accurate and convenient.
Last but not least, a vigilant cyclist is a safe cyclist. If you’re switching from driving to cycling, it’s important to understand that small bumps and potholes in the road can cause a lot more damage to your bike than they would to a car, and could even lead to an accident. Keep your head up and ensure that you are always aware of any potential dangers and hazards that might be coming up in front of you so that you can slow down and prepare for them in good time.
Cycling can be a fun and healthy way of getting around, but staying safe on the roads should always be a top priority.