We recommend cycling for anyone who is environmentally conscious or who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. Nowadays we you can see lots of slogans like ’ride to your bike to work’ and ’save fuel and parking costs’, but are we also aware of the safety considerations? We believe that riding on a daily basis is only recommended for those who have already assessed the safety regulations that need to be complied with. Should we break these written and unwritten traffic rules, there is a risk of serious injury and we could also endanger the safety of other road users. There is only one loser when a car and a bike collide, and bearing this in mind, road safety for cyclists is always an important topic.
In the next section we take a quick look at all the most important aspects, from appropriate bike maintenance to following the traffic code.
Before you go, make sure that your bike is properly prepared for the ride. Just one or two minutes properly checking your bike can help prevent a considerable number of safety issues. Lift the front wheel a bit and let it fall back to hear if any screws are loose. Do not start your journey with loose parts.
Briefly inspect the tires, look for signs of damage and check the pressure. Consider the necessity of truing the wheels, although if their sideways play is less than 2 mm, then you do not need to do anything. Pull the brake lever: it is appropriately adjusted if the lever does not reach the handlebar? Click here for further information about checking the brake and adjusting the handlebars.
Do not forget to use appropriate accessories, depending on the season. Beyond practicality and fashion, some accessories are intended to help you ride safely. Always wear a high quality helmet. The helmet must fit your head well, be comfortable and provide good ventilation. In a little while, we are going to talk about a really innovative helmet that could have an important role to play in safety-aware transport. Pay special attention when choosing the lights to use in each season. Consider the huge difference between just cruising with your city bike in the town or the outskirts and going at full pelt on a country road. Here you can find further important information about lighting.
The behaviour of cyclists has a large impact on traffic safety. Do not frighten pedestrians and drivers by slaloming in between them. Respect each other and avoid upsetting other road users. It is highly advisable to start road cycling outside the town. Try to get into you rhythm in a place where there is less traffic. When cycling, try not to concentrate only on your immediate environment. Extend your attention further ahead and be prepared to actively prevent dangerous situations. In some situations cyclists do have the right of way, but it is often better to yield to cars, as they would most probably overtake you anyway.
As a car driver it is always important to look around before bypassing a bump or a hole, and it is even more important when you ride a bike. Do not make any unexpected moves, do not suddenly get in front of another vehicle and always use your hand to signal your intent to change direction.
Inform yourself of the effective traffic code regulations before getting on your bike.