Cycling and bike riding has grown in popularity over recent months, with loads of people flocking to the streets to participate in these sorts of outdoor activities. This influx of riders on the roads is great for health and exercise, but it also puts more people in danger if they do not take the right precautions to stay safe while riding. Here are some ways in which you can increase your safety while on the road.
Wear Protective Gear
One of the most important and crucial ways you can stay safe when riding a bicycle is by wearing the correct and proper protective gear. This should be a natural and effortless addition as you are taught at a young age the importance of wearing the right protective gear, especially a helmet. Gloves and pads are beneficial and definitely come in handy if you ever fall to prevent scrapes, but the most important should always be the helmet. This is crucial for anyone that rides on the street alongside traffic at moderate to high speeds. Other types of protective gear also include adding or wearing reflective gear and tape to increase your visibility.
As a cyclist, you share the road with motor vehicles much larger than yourself. Any bike accident attorney will be able to inform you that this puts you at a greater disadvantage and risk when it comes to any sort of accident. This is why it is so vital you practice defensive riding. Much like defensive driving when it comes to operating a car, riding defensively means taking extra precautions and being more vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
This allows you to read and react to situations more easily and ensures that you can remove yourself from dangerous situations. As much as you follow the rules of the road, being a smaller presence puts you at risk of more fatal accidents when it comes to cars and drivers, as they may not always be aware of you, see they are in bicycle lanes or know how to drive with cyclists at all.
Follow The Rules Of The Road
It is important that as a cyclist, you recognize that you are sharing the road with others, from vehicles and pedestrians to other cyclists. This means that you must follow the road rules and regulations and that you are not above them yourself. Actively ignoring such rules can put you and others at risk. Don’t be that cyclist that rides through a red light just because it looks clear. The road rules apply to you as well.
Ride With Others
One way to help increase your safety when cycling is to ride with others, whether in a larger group or just one or two other riders. Sharing the road and lane with others allows you to be a bigger presence on the road, which helps vehicle drivers recognize your presence. This will force them to be more cautious. Also, having other cyclists ride with you provides you safety and security riding in unfamiliar locations or rough terrains where you might not be comfortable with your surroundings.
If you get into trouble, you can rely on each other to seek assistance with a pooled number of resources. If you cannot ride with others or prefer riding alone, informing family or friends where you plan to ride is another precaution you can take, just to give them a sense of where you will be and how long they expect you to be gone while on your ride. This way, if anything does happen, they have a window of when to be concerned and take further action.
Be Aware Of Weather Conditions
Riding your bike on the road comes with many risks. Although other drivers pose the greatest threat to cyclists in terms of accidents and injuries, the weather also plays a great role in that regard as well. If you are heading out for your morning or weekend ride, you should always note what the weather will be like. This will allow you to prepare for the conditions forecasted in terms of what gear to wear, what terrain and conditions to expect like rain, heat, or wind, and even may help you decide to skip the ride if it is not ideal.
Cycling is a fun activity to share with others or to experience on your own. You should consider some risks since you are sharing the road with others, including vehicles much larger than you. This is why it is so important to be mindful of your surroundings and practice safety measures when you are out riding. This way, you can enjoy the ride and the road without worrying about anything else.