Riding your bike without taking safety into consideration can give you a horrible experience. As much as you put effort into shopping and maintaining your bike, it is also important to consider your safety once you put your stallion on the road.
The best safety advice one can give you is planning your trip.
Take your time in knowing the route you will be riding on and identify the bicycle-friendly transit points. You need to be comfortable with the route before heading out on your bike.
Prepare for your trip. Is your bike functioning properly? Is it well maintained? Bring spare parts with you in case you need to make replacements say for a punctured tyre for example.
You must also consider what happens to your bike once you reach your destination.
Will it be secure? If your hybrid bike has anti-theft components then you are better off.
If not, find ways of securing your bike with a U-lock, double lock or sturdy chain. This will help ensure your bike stays where you leave it.
Remember you might have the best hybrid bike but if you do not adhere to safety rules it might be to your disadvantage.
Let us highlight the 5 important bike safety tips you should keep in mind.
Use of Signals
You are not the only road user. There are countless others who will rely on your signals to know what your next course of action on the road might be.
Develop a habit of hand signaling when you intend to change direction. Use hand signals when turning left or right, when changing lanes or when stopping.
This will help motorists become aware of your presence and clearly communicates your intentions.
Have you ever come across another road user who carelessly switches lanes and gets into intersections without considering other motorists or riders? They can be so annoying right?
Not only is it annoying but it can also be very dangerous.
It is important to pick your lane early enough and stick to it as other motorists follow your signals.
Lane position, especially at intersections, helps motorists determine which direction you intend to go so they can make their own judgement.
The rule of thirds have indications as follows:
- Left third of the lane to turn left
- Middle third of the lane to go straight
- Right third of the lane to turn right.
Riding on Side Walks
You might think that riding on the sidewalk is safer than riding on the road. Here’s a news flash- No it’s not.
There are drivers pulling out of driveways and a cyclist darting on the sidewalk is the last thing on their minds.
Children could be playing on the sidewalks and the elderly and disabled might not be quick enough to dodge your bike as you ride on the side walk.
It is therefore your responsibility to alert them as you approach and perhaps maneuver around them as they have the right of way.
In some areas riding on the sidewalks is outlawed and as such you might have to check your city’s regulations.
Other road users should be able to see you both day and night. Wear a reflective jacket, helmet, and back pack each time you put your bike on the road.
It is important that you attach lights and reflective strips to your bike. The law requires that you have a white front light and a red reflector on the rear.
To increase visibility you need to blink your lights every so often.
Respect for the Law
Another safety tip would be respect for the law. You will have to follow the same rules as motorists or other bikers.
Never ride against traffic. Obey stop signs and do not jump the traffic lights.
Stay clear of headphones on both ears as you ride for obvious reasons. You’d want to stay alert on the road and on your senses in case another motorist hoots at you.
Safety on the road starts with you. Respect the law of your area, always wear protective biking clothing, stick to the rules when riding on the sidewalks, and be cautious of your lane positioning. Be mindful of others on the road and your two wheel adventure will be just as awesome!