Riding a bike may seem easy, whether you’re a seasoned rider or someone who hasn’t rode for a very long time. Either way, it still doesn’t mean that safety has to be taken lightly.
Below are some safety tips from other authors, suitable for seasoned riders, “haven’t touch a bike for a long time” riders and also for suitable for beginners. Enjoy!
“Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.”
– National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA.gov
“Many collisions occur when a cyclist is on the inside of a vehicle which is turning left. Don’t assume the vehicle is going straight ahead just because it isn’t signalling left. Always avoid ‘undertaking’ any vehicle in this situation – it’s better to hang back until the vehicle has moved off.
Never cycle along the inside of large vehicles, such as lorries and buses, especially at junctions, where most accidents happen.
When turning left, a lorry will often pull out to the right first, creating a wide gap between the vehicle and the kerb. Many cyclists think it’s safe to ride into this space, but this is a dangerous place to be as the gap quickly disappears when the lorry swings around to the left.”
“One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they start biking is to take the exact same routes they used when they were driving. It’s usually better to take different streets with fewer and slower cars. Sure, cyclists have a right to the road, but that’s a small consolation when you’re dead. Consider how far you can take this strategy: If you learn your routes well, you’ll find that in many cities you can travel through neighborhoods to get to most places, only crossing the busiest streets rather than traveling on them.”
– Michael Bluejay, BicycleSafe.com
“Take care of your bike helmet and don’t throw it around. That could damage the helmet and it won’t protect you as well when you really need it. If you do fall down and put your helmet to the test, be sure to get a new one. They don’t work as well after a major crash.”
“Keep a safe distance between yourself and other riders or vehicles. What qualifies as safe? Enough space to allow you to react to something unexpected. In general, aim for 1 bike length (or more) per each 5 miles per hour you’re traveling. Keep at least 4 feet between you and a vehicle.”
“Before you head out, it’s good practice to let at least one person know where you’ll be riding, and roughly when you’ll be back. You can even get tech that stays in touch for you, like the ICEdot tracker. The tracker, which sticks to your helmet and sends an automatic message in the event of a crash, newly provides ride notifications and a live tracking feed: “That way you can change your mind about your route as you see fit but you’re still communicating with someone about your plans,” says ICEdot’s Chris Zenthoefer. ICEdot sounds a bit Big Brother-ish, but if you crash and are stranded with no cell service (or worse, are unconscious), you’ll be glad you had it.
You can also use an app like Find My Friends and turn “Always Share Location” on with a friend or family member so you’re constantly trackable.”
– Molly Hurford, Bicycling.com
“When riding in a tight group, most of the cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead, so it is important to announce holes, gravel, grates, and other hazards. Indicate road hazards by pointing down to the left or right, and by shouting “hole,” “bump,” etc., where required for safety. Everyone in a group should be made aware of hazards. However, not everyone needs to announce them.”