The riding craze has caught up with the Americans, at last. City after city is making efforts to dedicate enough bike lanes. Many bike stations have come up and so have many bike renting apps. The public is deriving many benefits from cycling to work rather than driving. However, all benefits considered, this means of transport is not without its fair share of troubles, especially when you cycle in the city.
To help you, here is a simple guide for safe city cycling:
Know What To Wear For Your Safety
Your helmet – The importance of this is quite obvious. In some states, you may be arrested for cycling without wearing a helmet. Should you fall or be involved in a crash, the helmet is going to protect your head.
Gloves – Your gloves will keep your grip on the handlebars safe. Your palms will not sweat and if they do, the moisture will not penetrate the glove material and make your grip slippery.
Padded riding shorts – You may not wear padded riding shorts when cycling to work, but when doing casual trips, you should wear a comfortable cycling outfit. That will enable you to keep all of your attention on the road.
The right shoes – Smooth soled shoes can give you a nasty riding experience, as they would keep on slipping from the pedals. Buy riding shoes and enhance your cycling experience in the city. When you get on that bike to ride on the city lanes, the only concern on your mind would be how to stay safe from other road users.
You can get eyewear to protect your eyes, kneepads and any other items that will protect you.
Get A Fitting Bike
This is very important. If you ride a bike that is too small or too big for you, it will hamper your cycling experience. When your hands are on the handlebars, your arms should be slightly bent at the elbow.
Your feet should rest on the pedals comfortably, especially when one foot is on the pedal at the lowest point.
Fitting your bike is simple even when buying it online as there are height charts that you can use.
You should also buy a gender-specific bike. Men’s bicycles have wider handlebars while women’s come narrower. If you are a woman, you can choose from some of the best women’s bikes available right now. Regardless of genders, you can also choose from these hybrid commuter bikes as well.
Watch Out For Car Doors
Just as you see in the movies when a bike rider is knocked down by an opening car door, you should be extra careful around cars. Somehow, many motorists look out for other cars, but they do not look out for bicycles. Thus, assume that a car door will pop open at the most inopportune moment. This is chilling, but chilling keeps people on bicycles alive all the time.
Anticipate What Other Drivers Will Do
It is good to try and read the actions of other people before they do their thing. This way, you will always anticipate danger and avoid it before it happens. As we have said about opening doors, always look at the front wheels of the vehicle beside you. When it starts to turn, you will know and you can react in time.
Be Visible On The Road
Cyclists are sometimes the most invisible people on the road. Most of the time, they do not contribute a lot to make themselves visible. It is very important that you wear helmet because it will have reflective colors and such will make you visible.
A riding jacket is also good as it is reflective or it may have reflective stripes. Another thing that you should do is cover your bike with reflective strips wherever possible. The bike should also have reflective lights at the back.
One thing that you should know is that if you cannot see the side mirrors of the vehicle ahead of you, the driver cannot see you. So move to a point where you are not in the blind spot.
Use Hand Signals
Bicycles do not have indicators. Thus, you will have to use hand signals to alert other drivers of your intentions. When you need to turn right, just indicate with your hand that you are turning. If you are stopping, show the driver behind you with a hand signal. You can wave them down to show them you are slowing down.
Give Way Where Required To Do So
Think of your bicycle as a vehicle, and “drive” it as one. When approaching pedestrian stops, you should slow down. Learn to give way. Courtesy goes a long way. When you behave nicely on the road, other drivers will start respecting cyclists and treating them safely. Stop when needed.
Stay alert on the saddle. Stay aware of your surroundings. Anticipate other people’s actions. For example, think of different scenarios regarding the pedestrians you can see ahead of you. Be extra careful where there are children.