As the weather starts to warm up, many of us at home are looking for ways to get outside and get some exercise. In addition, many of us have swapped out our cars for our bikes for our daily commute. If you are looking to pick up your bike this spring, here are some cycling safety tips to remember!
1. Be alert and pay attention
Stay alert and be aware of hazards, such as potholes, railroad crossings, etc. Even if you are cycling in a less-populated area, pay attention as drivers may not always see you. Most importantly, do not use headphones when cycling, as you may not be able to hear horns. Watch for and keep space between you and pedestrians. Additionally, be sure to use your bell to let pedestrians know you are coming.
2. Share the road
Between cars, motorcycles, large transport trucks, scooters, streetcars and buses (especially in the city), the streets are very busy places to be travelling. In fact, many collisions occur when cyclists are on the side of a vehicle when a car is about to turn right, as the view is constructed. As a safe cycling tip, keep a safe distance away from all motorized vehicles. It’s better to ride with caution until the vehicle is far enough away.
3. Ride with proper gear and care
If you’re a cyclist in any major city, you understand the importance of being safe on busy roads as they’re usually congested with traffic. Here’s some general tips:
- Most importantly, wear a helmet. When purchasing your helmet, ensure it’s appropriate that you size your helmet to fit. It should be comfortable and snug, not move when riding, easy to adjust and have a secure buckle. If it doesn’t meet any of this criteria, don’t buy it.
- Do not swerve in and out of moving traffic, cars and construction zones. Keep a good distance away from parked cars (to eliminate the risk of being doored), ride in a straight line and try to be predictable in your movements because this will help you be seen.
- When it’s raining or snowing lightly, check your speed and ride with caution as the roads may be slippery and it may take longer for you to stop.
- Do not bike while intoxicated!
- Same as driving, do not ride distracted and avoid using your phone while cycling.
4. Respect the rules of the road
Bicycles have similar road rights to motor vehicles, and must also obey traffic signals, signs and right-of-way rules. Just like drivers should indicate when they’re turning, cyclists should also do so. Always use hand signals when turning, slowing down or stopping. Before passing other road users, shoulder check and use your bell or your voice. This is a cycling safety tip to remember because cars may not always be able to see you, but you can always see them. So, although it may not always be ideal, it’s best to be alert, slow down and think twice before making an impulsive move on the road. It can save your life!
5. Plan your route
When cycling to a new destination or along a new route, use an updated cycling map to plan before you ride. Determine the best route for your ability and experience.
Remember, cyclists and motorists are equally entitled to use and share the same road space. Respecting all road users benefits everyone, so drivers and cyclists alike should always keep these cycling safety tips top of mind!