Bicycle riding is also an extremely competitive sport that has won wide acclaim internationally with several prestigious tournaments testing the stamina and strength of the bikers.
However, bicycle riding must be done in a proper and safe manner and by following the ‘rules of the road’ while riding with other motor vehicles is very essential. In order to minimize accidents and injuries while riding a bicycle there are essential safety tips to follow. Of course, the prime importance is taken by proper maintenance and care of the bicycle with regular checks of tires, brakes and lights.
- Wearing a helmet – using a helmet conforming to standard specifications at all times is a must
- Obeying traffic signs – traffic rules apply to bicyclists as well; in some countries, there are separate lanes and segments for riding bicycles
- Keeping both hands ready for braking – if a cyclist brakes with one hand, he is not going to have sufficient time to brake, even more so if the road is wet and slippery
- Scanning the road behind for vehicles behind – looking back over the shoulder without losing balance is a skill that cyclists have to cultivate; using a rear-view mirror helps a great deal
- Following lane markings – when there is a ‘right turn only’ sign avoid going straight or otherwise
- Dressing appropriately – wearing brightly colored clothing is a good option; in addition, a raincoat or an overcoat is a must for rainy or windy weather, but ensure the clothes don’t flap around with a chance of getting caught in a snag or a passing vehicle.
- Using hand signals – signaling by hand sufficiently in advance tells motorists behind what the cyclist intends to do; sticking out a hand at the last minute before a turn can unnerve drivers and cause accidents
- Riding in the lane middle – in slower traffic it’s good to be in the middle of the lane; this is especially necessary when the cyclist is moving at the same traffic speed
- Choosing the best way to turn left – signaling in advance the move to the left turn before making the turn or ride to the far side of road and walking the bike across from the far side crosswalk are to options
- Making eye contact with motorists – eye contact with other motorists is very important especially if they pose a threat to your cycling safely
- Watching out for road hazards – debris, gravel, ice, sand or sewer grates are a safety hazard
- Using night lights – international traffic regulations insist on white headlights and a red tail light that is visible to oncoming as well as traffic behind