In our previous cycling article, we have attempted to give you some information about the issue. But recently, we have realized that we have skipped one critical point: Cycling Safety! Cycling in general, moving between cities and countries is both cheap and fun, yeah, but without the basic principles of safety, cycling may do more harm than good, both legal and medical. As you may have guessed, we could not let this happen as EcoTripSos – Budget Travel Guide, therefore, today we would like to present 15 Tips for Cycling Safety.
1. Make sure your bike is in good condition. Before you hit the road, DO check your bike’s brakes, tyres and other critical parts. If there is a part causing uncertainty, and it has not been fixed so far, DO NOT hit the road.
2. Adjust your saddle to the right height. Your leg should not be fully stretched when you pedal. For this, your height must be such that if you put your foot on the ground, you must be able to maintain balance. Adjust your saddle accordingly. Do not fall.
3. Be alert at all costs. We strongly advise not to forget about this rule, especially when you ride your back in the city. Do not forget traffic exists. You can come across with a pedestrian or a vehicle, or even a cat simply any moment. Being alert at all costs is the most critical precaution against accidents.
4. Make yourself visible. Especially if you ride at night, wear luminous clothes, like those worn by policemen and construction workers. Such clothing makes you visible from yards away and it is crucial for a cyclist to be visible. And helmets? Do we really need to mention that?
5. Abide by the traffic rules, all the time. Do not forget that a bike is simply a transportation vehicle, which makes it obligatory to abide by the traffic rules. This way, you will earn your place within the traffic and benefit from the regulatory nature of these rules.
6. Stick to the right side of the road, but not too much. Bicycles and motorcycles should ride on the right side of the road. Follow that rule. But if you move right too much, you face the danger of hitting the roadblocks, which will make you fall. And due to the impulse responsive nature of the nature, you will be thrown right into the traffic. Keep a safe distance with the right end of the road.
7. Move a little bit left at crossroads. Sticking to the right end of the road may be a little bit problematic at crossroads. Here’s the thing, the driver coming in your direction will check only the angle through which s/he could see other cars. S/he’s not looking for a bike! If you move too far right, s/he may skip you. For that reason, move just a little bit left at crossroads.
8. Establish eye contact with other drivers. At crossroads, or any place where the ‘right of way’ is present, establish eye contact. This small attempt to communicate will inform other drivers of your presense and prevent accidents.
9. Stay away from heavy vehicles. Because their sight is limited in comparison to their lighter counterparts. For that reason, trucks have to receive help while parking, a legal necessity. In addition, if you ride too close to a truck on the road, the wind may throw you away. Keep that in mind and stay behind such vehicles.
10. Use hand signals. Making use of hand signals is just another method of making your presense known by others. Benefit from that. But use only one hand to signal, whatever the case is.
11. Do not distract yourself with music or your mobile while cycling. Unless you really have to, do not part your hands and handle bars. Talking on the phone means both riding with a single hand and focusing on the conversation rather than the road, which are both unacceptable. Set your mobile to silent mode before you start riding your bike. Therefore, you will focus on where you should.
Stay even further away from MP3 players and radios, which require headphones. Do not forget, our ears, like our eyes, are the most critical safety tools. Hearing what is going on around us is more than necessary for a safe ride.
12. Focus your weight onto the saddle in case of sudden breaks. Helps stopping quicker.
13. Keep “a door’s distance” when passing by parked cars. Parked cars are the source of blind accidents for cyclists. Thinking that nothing will happen, you just happen to pass the car on its left quickly, but only until the driver, who has just recently parked, opens his door. This may cause major injuries. Try not getting to close to parked cars. .
14. Use the bicycle. Though inadequate in most countries, some have really good bicycle lanes. Use them. Oh, you’re in Holland or Denmark? USE THEM! Or you’ll get a ticket.
15. Give way to pedestrians, always. Yeah, even while you’re cycling, you should give way to pedestrians because cycling accidents could be really serious. Always bear in mind the possibility that the pedestrian crossing the road is blind, deaf and mute.
These are our tips for those who’d like to cycle and they are advised for everyone’s safety. However, safety is a critical issue. For that reason, if you have something to add, please do. Comment or send an e-mail.
Have a nice ride…
Bisiklet Sürüş Güvenliği İçin 15 Öneri / 15 Tips for Cycling Safety
Bisiklet güvenliği üzerine... / On cycling safety...