Riding a bicycle is not only just fun, but it’s also the best form of exercise. It is the most effective way to get a full-body workout. While riding your bike, you need to take all the necessary safety measures, so you don’t fall into any mishaps. Riding a bicycle on the open road is one thing, but as a bicyclist, you often have to share the path with other heavy vehicles, which could be a bit unsafe.
Taking safety measures does not necessarily mean you have to restrict your enjoyment; in fact, it will enhance your riding experience. In this article, we have put together a perfect guide that may help you stay safe while riding a bicycle on the road.
6 Bicycle Safety Tips
1. Protect Your Head
The first and foremost thing is wearing a helmet that fits your head. The helmet will give you better odds against head injuries. Helmets come in various sizes. Thus it’s better to try them out before you buy. Make sure to buy helmets and face warmer in cold weather that is certified by CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Adjust your helmet strap in such a way that it should be tight enough and shouldn’t slip away from your head. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between your chin and the strap. When you place your helmet on your head, it should not block your eyesight, so keep the helmet two fingers away from the brow line.
Check the helmet laws in your state. In most states, it’s compulsory for kids to wear helmets but not adults. However, it’s equally crucial for both adults and children to wear helmets while riding a bicycle.
2. Obey Traffic Lights
There are several traffic rules that are enforced to minimize the danger and possible clash between vehicles. Under no circumstances should you ever violate any traffic rules and regulations. It is another key to being safe when you’re riding a bicycle on a busy road. Rules are the same for both bikes and other vehicles. Hence, ride in the same direction as the traffic and always stay in your lane. Do not text or use a mobile phone while riding a bicycle; this will distract you from the road, and you’ll also be violating traffic rules.
3. See And Be Seen
Sometimes accidents can occur simply because the other vehicle’s driver failed to see the cyclist. You need to understand bikes are a bit smaller than commercial passenger cars, so you need to be certain that the drivers can see you. Enhancing visibility can reduce the chance of getting into any crash. For starters, you can wear a bright-colored jacket or coat. Bright fluorescent colors like neon green, yellow, or hot pink would do the job. During the foggy or rainy season, keeping reflectors on your clothing or bike will help as well. And also, beware of any vehicles ahead of you.
4. Watch For Road Hazards
Concentrating on the road and staying within the speed limit could reduce many road hazards for you. Always look out for any potholes or opening doors of cars. It’s better not to ride on the sidewalks, and it could be hazardous for pedestrians. When you see rail tracks ahead of you, it’s better to slow down. Hitting something abruptly at full speed may cause a crash. Even on the safest road, sometimes the weather conditions may also make it challenging to ride a bicycle. Heavy rain and wind take the rate of cycling crashes to another level.
5. Avoid Riding At Night
Riding a bicycle at night is not advisable at all, but if you do, you need to be extra cautious on the road. It’s better to plan your route before you hit the road at night. Make sure that the route you choose has better lighting and safe lanes for bikes. Bright fluorescent colors may help you in the daytime. However, if you’re riding at night, you should go for the light colors. To make yourself stand out, even more, attach reflectors on your bike and clothing; this will make it easier to identify yourself even from far away.
6. Using Hand Signals
Hand signals are another way to reduce the chance of getting hit by a vehicle. Especially when you’re in an intersection, signaling by your hand would be the best way to let people know which way you’re turning.
Whether it’s the stop sign or for the pedestrian on the road, the people behind you should know that you’re stopping. Put your left hand out and direct it downwards with your hand open. To make a left, simply extend your left arm at full length to your side. There are actually two signals for letting people know you’re making a right turn. One is to fully extend your right arm to the side, or you can extend your left arm and point it upwards. You can use either of the signals. If there’s any obstacle like potholes or train tracks, simply extend your arm and point towards it.
These are some of the basic safety measures that you can take while riding your bicycle. We assure you, following these simple rules will not cause an obstacle to your fun ride. These rules are just for keeping yourself safe and sound while riding. To conclude, obeying the traffic rules and concentrating on the road would be the safest way to ride a bike.
William Arrovo seeks thrills and laughter in everything he comes across. He is a fun loving person with a zest of exploring the breathtaking places around the globe. He feels content in sharing his experiences of travelling to various countries. He is grateful about enriching himself with a myriad of cultures and rejuvenating his soul while staying outdoors.