Cycling is a sport that has caught on in the recent years. Those who love to cycle will know the pleasure of zipping down the roads and hills. Despite the enjoyment, there are some factors that you must keep in mind when you are out cycling. We’ve listed 8 cycling safety tips that you must follow.
1. Wear a helmet
The most basic tips of all times! Whether you are headed to a store half a mile away of just out on a cycling marathon, always (and we emphasize always!) wear a helmet. Make sure it is properly fastened and fitted. Wearing a helmet can lessen the impact of any head injury in case of an accident.
SafetyKart Tip: A helmet that fits the headly snugly is the right choice. If the helmet moves when you shake your head, change it!
2. Wear right. Wear bright.
Make your presence felt and we mean it! When you are out cycling, wear bright colured clothes that are easy to notice. When you are cycling at nights or in poor weather conditions, ensure that you wear reflective jackets and use reflective lights on your cycle in the front, side and rear so that you are easily visible to oncoming motorists.
SafetyKart Tip: Ensure that you wear protective pads on your elbows and knees to reduce the severity of an injury in case of a fall from your cycle.
3. Signal well and be aware
Use arm signals to make aware of the motorists and other road users to know what your next course of action will be. Always look carefully behind you before you change lanes on a road. When you do that not only does it attract the attention of the drivers but also ensures that you know what is happening around you.
SafetyKart Tip: Ride with the flow of the traffic and ensure that you are always on the right side of the road with the cars.
4. Check the tire pressure regularly
The tire pressure is indicated on the outside of the cycle tire. It indicates the amount of PSI that should be maintained at all times. Inflate the tires at regular intervals to maintain the required levels. A firm tire does not always indicate that the pressure levels are met.
SafetyKart Tip: Even if the tire feels firm to the touch, inflate tires at least once a month.
5. Handling an emergency
Emergencies can happen at any point of time. Satay safe and always be prepared. Always carry a first aid kit that will take care of the minor injuries. When you are using your hands for signalling, always keep one hand one the handlebars. Always have a cell phone handy with the numbers of the people you wish to contact on a speed dial as an emergency. Also, ensure that your friends and family are aware of the route that you take when you are out cycling.
SafetyKart Tip: Be aware of the hand signals and use them at all times whether you are changing lanes or turning at an intersection.
6. Maintain your cycle
Carry out regular maintenance for your cycles. Ensure that the brakes are always in top-notch condition. Check the tires regularly for pressure and air levels. Do oil the cycle regularly to keep the rust away.
SafetyKart Tip: Invest in a rear-view mirror that could help you see what’s coming behind you!
7. Be Alert at all times
Did you know that even parked cars can cause an accident? Maintain a distance of a minimum of 4 feet when you are passing by parked cars. If a car has halted, someone is likely to get off the car and the last thing you would want is to slam into a car door and get hurt.
8. Maintain a cycling etiquette
While we know that cycling is fun, there are some rules that you should follow not just for your safety, but for the safety of others too.
- Avoid weaving in and out of traffic. Maintain the lanes or else you are likely to confuse the motorist behind you!
- Ensure that you use hand signals at all points of time. Signalling at the right time will make the motorists aware of your intentions. Avoid changing lanes and directions without signalling.
- Pedestrians should always be given a priority. Stop for senior citizens of differently abled people just in case they may not be aware of your presence.
- Use your cycle bell to inform people about your presence. If you cycle does not have a bell, invest in one!
If you are new to cycling or are cycling after a long time, you should consider taking up some basic training in cycling. There are various institutes that offer the training. Being trained not only increases your confidence but also improves your cycling skills so that you can learn to tackle those busy cycling routes.
Image source: gov.pe.ca