Cycling on the road is always a tricky proposition. It can be intimidating to pedal along beside larger 4-wheel vehicles that are whizzing by. Yet many are able to do it on a regular basis without incident. You too can ride around with confidence as long as you follow a few bicyclist safety precautions.
Check Your Bike
Before you go out, see whether the vital parts are functioning well. The brakes are particularly important so test them a bit and make adjustments if necessary. Look for wheel punctures and other potential issues. Tighten all the loose parts and fix the things that might be causing noise to lessen distractions while riding.
Bikes are slim and silent. These characteristics make it hard for car drivers to notice that a bike is approaching them. Cyclists have to assume that they are invisible and work from this viewpoint. They have to take it upon themselves to enhance their visibility through light-colored clothing, safety vests, reflectors, and blinking lights. Stay out of blind spots and use a reasonably loud horn when needed.
Follow the Road Rules
Everyone on the roads must follow the rules. Cyclists are not exempt from this. Stop when the light goes red and go when it’s green. Abide by the signs and don’t go over the speed limit. Most people assume that bikes are slow but they can actually go very fast if the rider is fit and the slope is going down. Wear a helmet if it is prescribed by state law. Even if it isn’t, it’s probably best to wear one anyway. Studies have repeatedly shown how proper headgear can save lives.
Commit to one lane and avoid swerving too much or speeding up just to get ahead. Do not make sudden turns. Do not sprint at intersections. Make a clear signal using hand gestures for turns and stops so that drivers will know what you plan to do. Be as predictable as possible in your movements to give others the time to react accordingly.
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