Cycle Safety: The Cardinal Rules of Road Riding

25
Jan
2021

While road rules and laws for cyclists are different in every State and Territory, there are some rules that you should always follow as a road cyclist. Following these rules helps to not only keep order on the road, but it also allows you and your fellow cyclists to stay safe when you’re riding. Road riding can be hazardous if you don’t take the right approach and you need to do everything that you can to ensure you are safe and can enjoy the ride. 

Road bikes nowadays are available in all sorts of styles, materials and constructions. The modern road bike is capable of performing at levels previously unthought-of, allowing riders to reach fast speeds while staying stable and comfortable in the saddle. Sharing the road with drivers, pedestrians and other road users, however, means being cautious and taking steps to protect yourself and everyone around you. With the right approach to cycle safety, you can ride safely and confidently to get the most out of your next ride. 

Let’s take a look at some of the cardinal rules of road cycling that every road cyclist should know. 

Wear A Helmet

Whether the law requires it or not, every road cyclist knows that it is in their best interest to wear a helmet. If you are involved in a collision or a fall at speed, you can do untold damage to yourself and potentially end up with life-long injuries. Keep your head protected at all times and encourage other riders to do the same so that everyone is safe in the saddle.

Bright Clothing

Choosing to wear a bright jersey will help other road users to see you coming, no matter what time of day or night it is. Wearing bright or reflective clothing is a must for riders, especially those on quiet, rural roads where drivers might not be expecting you. Be safe, be seen! 

Use Your Lights

If you will be going out on any early morning, late evening, or night time rides, be sure to switch on your lights. At the very minimum, you should have a single white light mounted on the front of your bike and a red light on the back. Both lights should be visible from at least twenty meters. While your front light might help you to navigate the road better, the primary purpose of these lights is for other drivers to see you coming in poor lighting conditions. 

Carry Your Phone

Never leave the house without your phone in your pocket and full-charged, especially if you are cycling solo. If you have an accident or an incident occurs where you need help, having your phone with you will be invaluable. If you cycle to switch off and get away, then turn your phone off but make sure that you can access it if you need it. Keeping your phone in a resealable bag will keep it safe from rain and sweat. 

Bring Water And Sun Protection

Spending hours in the saddle means being exposed to the suns harmful rays. Many cycling jerseys have built-in UV protection and you can also apply sunscreen, wear a cycling cap and wear sunglasses with UV protection to stay safe. Be sure to also carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your ride. The weather in Australia can be unforgiving, so make sure that you are properly prepared, especially on those warmer, sunnier days. 

Keep Yourself And Others Safe On The Road

As a road cyclist, you have a responsibility to keep yourself and other road users safe. When you head out for your next ride be sure to follow the cardinal rules of safe road riding we have outlined above. With the right approach, you can be sure that you will be safe in the saddle and be able to get the very most out of your future rides.  

Photo c/o pixabay.com

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