More and more people are cycling for a whole range of different reasons, from a cheap way to travel to work, to be more environmentally friendly, an enjoyable way to keep active and healthy, or as something you can do as a whole family.
Whatever the reason for getting on your bike make sure that you keep yourself safe, as a cyclist there are a number of simple tips to help you while out on the road or cycle routes:-
- Ensure your bike is roadworthy and keep it properly maintained, use the ‘M Check’ method as a simple reminder of the essential pre-ride checks:- https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/get-active/2019/everyday-walking-and-cycling/the-m-check-for-your-bike-in-11-steps?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5P2As7-O7QIVzsLtCh3asghtEAAYASAAEgLH8_D_BwE
- Use clear hand signals to indicate to other road users your intention to turn or slow down/stop, as per the Highway Code.
- As a cyclist you are a lot smaller than normal traffic, so be aware of other vehicles blind-spots, take extra care when approaching traffic, parked cars, junctions, traffic lights, or other busy areas.
- Be aware of what’s happening around you, not just in front.
- Consider wearing bright, fluorescent and reflective clothing to improve your visibility, especially in poor weather and light conditions, and especially if you are riding at night.
- Approach parked cars with caution, is there someone just about to get out of the vehicle and open the door? Is there a pedestrian or small child just about to step out from between those parked cars?
- If riding at night it is a legal requirement for your bike to have a white front and red rear light which is lit, and it must be fitted with a red rear reflector, (and amber pedal reflectors if made after 1985). Additional spoke reflectors are also advised, as these can improve your visibility in direct light, such as car headlights. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.
- We always recommend wearing a suitable helmet, and one which fits correctly and conforms to current regulations. If you find it uncomfortable, is it the correct size for your head and is it adjusted correctly? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyhyrITHDgw
- Cyclists must obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals, but also be aware of some which are designed specifically for cyclists.
- Use an appropriate speed, especially if filtering or in slow moving traffic, as well as around pedestrians, a simple handlebar bell can be a great friendly warning to your presence.
- Be especially careful around large vehicles and never undertake, especially on the approach to junctions or roundabouts. It is very easy for a cyclist to be hidden in their blind spots:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV-rhiGRFTE
Cycling is a great form of transport for the daily commute or as a leisure pastime, so if you are thinking about it then contact one of the many local groups who offer everything from taster sessions, where you can loan a bike and try it before you buy one of your own, even an electric bike, adult or family cycle training sessions, or just need someone to bring your bike back to life!
Check out the links on the right for more information and contact details for your local area.
The Ultimate Guide to Cycling
Check out this fantastic publication for a range of topics and advice on cycling. Enjoy.