Cycling is an incredible way to stay fit, as well as to save money on public transport and have fun getting where you need to go! Although riding your bike can be a relaxing leisure activity, this isn’t always the case, and there are some very important safety measures that should be always kept in mind.
There is a huge difference in going cycling in the countryside for pleasure, and having to cycle through traffic when you need to get somewhere.
When you go cycling because you want to enjoy a ride, or for the fitness benefits, then you can generally go at your own pace and choose a route that is neither busy or dangerous in any way. You might choose to pedal away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and spend a few scenic hours soaking up the beauty of nature.
On the other hand, if you are cycling to commute to work, then you will have much less choice over the route because you will will likely need to go the most time effective way. This can often mean that you have to cycle through busy roads, fast-moving traffic, and amongst an abundance of other cyclists!
Simple Safety Advice
If you aren’t currently a cyclist because you believe this mode of transport to be too dangerous, then following some simple safety advice can help you to overcome these thoughts! Statistics show us that cycling is actually one of the safest modes of transport in existence, and countless people travel in this way every day without experiencing an issue.
Respect Other Road Users
One of the most basic ways in which you can stay safe on the road is to respect all other road users at all times, and always make your presence known. If you are approaching a car to overtake, then make certain that the driver of this car knows that you are there and that they understand you are attempting to move past them.
If you are crossing a junction, especially a busy one, then making eye contact with drivers is a good way to make sure that they know you are there. This makes it much more likely that they will drive with caution as they also cross the junction.
Rules of the Road
Respecting the rules of the road is also a top priority, not just for your own safety and that of others around you, but also because of the legal implications of flouting these laws.
You should never cycle through a red light, much in the same way that you wouldn’t drive through a red light if you were in a car. Doing so puts your safety at risk, and can cause a hazard to all vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians who are also using this crossing.
Furthermore, you should never cycle on the pavement unless is is explicitly clear that you are allowed to do so. Designated cycle paths are easy to spot, so keep an eye out and never make assumptions!
Bad weather can quickly affect how well you are able to steer your bike, and also how effective your brakes are. So always be sure to cycle with greater caution in wet weather, or take a different mode of transport if neccessary.
Wearing a helmet is such a simple way to protect yourself when you are cycling, but is something that so many people still don't do! Helmets don't have to be expensive and can go a long way to protecting your head if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. Invest in a helmet before you get started with cycling and make sure you always take it with you - even if you are just going for a bike ride for fun!
Bike lights are another simple thing to consider that can really help to keep you safe on the roads. In fact, having bike lights is generally a legal requirement if you are cycling in the dark. You should have a white front light and a red back light. Not only will this help to enhance your vision of the road when it is dark, but will also alert other road users to your presence. Additionally, you should think about wearing reflective clothing to increase your visibility on the road.
Having a bell on your bike is a must-have addition if you are to be able to alert other cyclists and pedestrians to your presence. Sometimes pedestrians can wander into the cycle lane without realising, and a quick ding of your bell can help to clear the lane. You can also use your bell to let other cyclists know that you are behind them if you are waiting to overtake safely.
Cycling is an amazing way to get fit and is something that we should all feel safe to do! Following these tips can help you to get on your bike and to enjoy the many benefits of being able to do so!
If you do find yourself involved in a cycle accident, then seeking professional orthopedic care could help you to get back in the saddle. At Onto Orthopedics we strive to provide a diagnosis as soon as possible after an accident so that the best course of treatment can be embarked upon immediately!