Urban cycling is considered by some to be an extreme sport. Why? Cyclists are exposed to all types of traffic from vehicles of all sizes and distracted pedestrians. But the risks of biking through urban areas can be lowered by learning to ride our bikes safely. These suggestions can be put into practice by everyone, including those who bike to work, use their bike for work or for those who wish to use it for leisure.
Being more cautious and aware of the surroundings could have prevented most cycling accidents. In this article, we will learn 5 ways how we can be safer when riding around our cities.
Before you ride
Before hitting the road, it is necessary to make sure your bike is in optimal working condition. This will only take a minute or two.
It is important to check your tire pressure; all tires tend to leak, so remember to pump your tires occasionally. Check the feel of your brakes, look at the brake pads when you hold the lever, if it feels sticky there might be a loose cable or worn brake pads. Check the chain and the gear changes or any other signs of alignment issues.
Make sure you take with you a basic repair kit, in case you have a flat tire or your bike needs a small repair while on the road. Check that you have your ID with you and any emergency contacts, even if you are just going around the block.
Before riding, make sure you have the correct gear on. Never ever ride your bike without your helmet, for your safety and to obey the law. Also, many bicycle accidents occur because the vehicle driver did not see the cyclist in time, so make sure your clothes don’t fade in the background. Have reflective lights on your bike and wear a reflective jacket or vest.
Stay in your lane
Managing the concrete jungle can be a challenge, but once you realize that everything and everyone has the designated spots it will be a breeze. Bicycles are considered to be non-motorized vehicles, for this reason they are allowed to circulate on roads, highways, etc. But unlike automobiles, bicycles must always use the right lane closest to the side of road as possible.
If a cyclist were moving faster than the automobile traffic, it would be suitable to move into the left lane to pass the vehicles, but quickly returning to his designated spot. When pulling into a lane with ongoing traffic, use the appropriate hand signals to warn those around you of your intentions.
Obey the traffic laws
Traffic laws apply to all types of vehicles, including bicycles. It is of upmost importance to obey stop and yield signs.
Many bicycle accidents happen between cyclists and pedestrians, so use extreme caution when riding your bike through areas where there are lots of people walking. When using crosswalks and pedestrian overpasses, it is recommended to get off your bike and walk.
It is not uncommon to face uneducated automobile drivers that are totally unaware of the cyclist’s rights for circulating on roads and highways. It is common to hear them yell, “Get off the road” or some other act of aggression.
Avoid trying to get revenge. Just smile and wave hello or if possible ignore them. They might just be having a bad day, don’t let their bad vibe ruin your day.
By following these simple suggestions you will find being an urban cyclist to be safe, as you learn to share our road ways with other users.