Our Beginner’s Guide to Safely Riding a Bike in Traffic
Whether you’re doing it to stay physically fit, save the environment, or cut back on your commute expenses, riding a bike is indeed one of the best choices you can ever make! Biking is an enjoyable activity that people from all over the world appreciate. Still, you can’t let your excitement take over when you’re on the road, especially when there’s oncoming traffic; it’s extremely dangerous to lose your cool on the road, after all!
To help you out, check out our guide below so that you can stay safe while cycling in traffic.
- Check Your Bike and Attire
Dress appropriately for the occasion! Having the necessary bike gear and wearing the proper attire will ensure your safety on the road. You never know what could happen when you’re already riding. As such, it helps to be prepared for any situation so that you won’t suffer from any severe injuries.
Before stepping on that pedal, you should make sure that you are wearing a properly fitted helmet, bright and highly visible clothing, and the appropriate knee and elbow pads.
- Lighten Up
Besides wearing high-visibility cycling attire, your bike should also be easy to see. Your bike should have a bicycle headlight installed on the front and rear lights for the back, both of which should be switched on as soon as things get dark. You can also turn on your bicycle light during the day if visibility is poor!
Always carry a spare set of bicycle LED lights with you so that you have a backup in case your lights run out of battery or if they fail to work.
- Expect the Worst
Anticipating problems before they arise is key to staying safe in traffic. You may not be able to control the actions of other motorists, but you do have power over yourself!
Train your reflexes so that you have a shorter reaction time. Your reaction time can make all the difference! Make sure to always cover the brakes with one or two fingers so that you can immediately stop when needed.
- Keep an Eye on the Surroundings
Always practice road awareness! Instead of worrying about the traffic behind you, you should look ahead and assess the environment around you. Always watch out for glass, potholes, road humps, potholes, and parked vehicles so that you can act accordingly as soon as a problem presents itself.
Don’t rely on peripheral vision—turn your head a bit so that you can see what’s around you. If you’re struggling to assess your surroundings, you can try sticking out your left arm straight behind you, then turn and look over your left shoulder. When you’re always aware of your surroundings, you won’t have to worry about swerving, braking abruptly, or making sudden manoeuvres.
- Take Up a Good Position
Your road position must allow you to see, be seen, and prevent others from putting you at risk. Make sure to bike in the middle of the left-hand lane to avoid other motorists from overtaking you where it isn’t safe. If you’re no longer in a potentially dangerous situation, you can revert to the secondary position, about a meter to the left of the moving lane.
Bike lanes can be narrow, but you shouldn’t resort to riding too close or on the gutter. Doing so will only increase the risk of your bicycle pedals hitting the curb, which can ultimately cause harm to you and other cyclists.
Biking is a fun activity that benefits people of all ages! However, you shouldn’t be ignorant of the dangers when cycling in traffic. Riding a bike in the city can be intimidating and scary to a beginner, but as long as you follow our safety guidelines and practice your cycling skills regularly, you can bike without any worries!
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