Bicycle Commuting Safety Tips for Beginners
If you’re still thinking of becoming a bicycle commuter, here are some great tips to get you started. Laura Ginn is a bicycle enthusiast and wants to share her bike commuting safety tips with you.
Bike Commuting Safety Tips for Beginners
by Laura Ginn
Making the change from a car to a cycle and pedalling your way to work is not only good for the environment, it is also great for your health. Unfortunately it can also be hazardous to your health if you fail to observe some basic safety information designed to get you through your journey in one piece. Though many people consider cycling through town more like running the gauntlet than anything pleasurable, statistics from the UK National Traffic Survey have shown that it is actually more dangerous to be a pedestrian than a cyclist. Here are some tips to ensure you are as safe as possible when sharing the roads with other traffic.
Conquer Your Fear
If you are afraid of the other traffic on the road you are not going to be riding defensively and could end up putting yourself and other road users at risk. Boost your confidence by taking a cycling proficiency course so you can stake your claim as a confident road user. The course will cover all of the road safety basics and give you the skills that you need to be able to cycle in traffic.
Positioning is Everything
Ride like you belong on the road! While you don’t take up as much space as a car you need to have enough room around you to give you space to avoid any hazards. You should aim to position yourself a minimum of 50cm out from the curb. Not only does this give you room to manoeuvre it also ensures that you are visible to other road users. It also deters drivers from trying to squeeze past you, making them wait until it is safe to overtake.
You may know where you’re going but you need to ensure that the vehicles you are sharing the road with do too. Make your signals clear and as unambiguous as possible. Remember to look over your shoulder before you make any manoeuvres. If you can look the driver of the car behind you in the eye, this way you can be positive that he has not only seen you there but also noted your intent to manoeuvre. This is especially important as you approach roundabouts.
Traffic Light Safety
Though it may be tempting, you should fight the urge to jump a red light. Not only will it infuriate the drivers behind you, you could also be involved in an accident if a driver is racing the lights in the opposite direction. Position yourself behind the stop line and position yourself away from the curb, this way the drivers behind will not be tempted to squeeze past you.
If you are using your cycle for your daily commute, make sure that you have covered your bike against accidental damage. A cycle can be written off in a collision and can be an expansive item to replace. Protectyourbubble.com offers comprehensive cycle coverage as well as a multi-cycle policy for all of your family’s bicycles.
Laura Ginn prefers to cycle on a rugged bike trail on her mountain bike rather than road cycling through traffic, but knows that the best way to enjoy the ride is to be confident at all times. She believes that getting out on her bike is the best way to stay fit and healthy while helping the environment at the same time.
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