It goes without saying that remaining safe while on the streets is a high priority. We’ve compiled all the best tips to keep you safe when you’re out on two wheels.
Rules of the roads
Know the rules of the road (generally they are the same rules and rights as cars) and mind them, but do not push your luck when it comes to “rights.” In any confrontation with a car, you will lose. Some rules are different for bicycles, like having the ability to use the sidewalk at Washington State or not having to abide by stop signals in Idaho. Know your local visitors codes, but don’t assume that motorists know them.
Assume that motorists don’t see you or realize just how fast you’re going and will do the most dangerous potential thing, and you will be ahead of the match. Utilize bicycle trails and segregated bike lanes if at all possible.
Be ready to manage little repairs if you range farther from home than you’d care to walk.
Carry another tube or 2 with tire levers, a mini-pump or a CO2 inflator and a patch kit in case of flat tires.
Other things you may want include a first aid kit, electricity bars/gels, and allen wrenches.
Wear a helmet and bright colours with reflective tape if possible.
Make sure to have bright lights in case you’re riding at night–you will need a headlight to see the road and flashing LED’s (back) so drivers can see you. Bear in mind that if a motorist is looking at you in the side, they might not see your front and rear lights – contemplate getting lights for the wheels or even additional reflectors.
Bring a lock – U-locks are probably the safest, 2 locks (1 U-lock, 1 cable) can help slow down burglars in sketchy places.
Don’t leave your lights or other accessories on your bicycle, they’ll get stolen.
Bring a change of clothing if needed.
Avoid the door zone. Always leave a door-sized distance when passing any stopped car – not only parked ones. If you’re forced to squeeze through the door zone, slow down to walking speed and look for warning signals.
Beware of the right hook. Make a habit of glancing over your left shoulder (if you are on the right side of the road) in the approach to each intersection, exit ramp, or driveway.
Pass behind pedestrians—not in front of them. Driving your bicycle through the space behind pedestrians leaves no question as to who is yielding.
Look at eyes and tires. It is important not to assume that a motorist has seen you. Among the most effective ways to do so is to make eye contact. Failing this, it is never a bad idea to keep your eye on the automobile’s front brakes or the motorist’s actions in the steering wheel, the two may provide you advanced notice of a possibly harmful situation.
When in doubt, take the lane. Where the street is narrow, ride at the centre to deter aggressive drivers from trying to squeeze beyond where they should not.
Your brakes will not work as well when wet; allow additional time to stop.
Consider getting a bicycle with disk brakes and fenders should you ride in position that receives a good deal of precipitation.
Certain surfaces are super slippery when wet, like painted lane lines, railroad tracks and old wood. Be alert to these and don’t attempt to turn, lean or alter rates while navigating them. When crossing railroad tracks, ride at a perpendicular angle to the trail if possible to avoid catching your wheels in the gaps.