More and more people are taking advantage of the bicycle to get to work, to head home, or to get a few chores done. There are many benefits to riding a bicycle, including in the city, like saving money and getting some exercise.
That said, it is also a potentially harmful way of getting from point A to point B. Whether it is your own fault for refusing to use hand signs or the neglect of your fellow travelers, there are multiple ways you can get injured.
You can avoid getting hurt if you employ a series of safety measures.
Here are six safety tips for riding your bike in the city:
1. Abide by All Road Signs & Lights
One of the primary reasons why cyclists get a bad reputation in major urban areas is that a significant number of them refuse to abide by all road signs and lights. A stop sign or a red light, many city bike users do not heed traffic and safety laws.
If you wish to survive in the city riding your bike, then you need to ensure you’re being responsible, safe, and aware.
2. Are You a Cyclist or a Pedestrian?
Another complaint that a lot of motorists as well as pedestrians have about city bike riders is that one moment they consider themselves a cyclist and then the next moment they’re a pedestrian.
This is reckless and dangerous for cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.
Moving forward, if you wish to be safe, you need to stick to one description: cyclist or pedestrian. It is understandable to ride on the sidewalk considering how dangerous it can be to cycle on a main street or busy intersection. But if you stick to one moniker you’ll be fine.
3. Don’t Box Yourself in Vehicles
Yes, you can squeeze in between two automobiles and get to your destination faster. However, just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.
When you’re riding on a busy stretch of the city, you need to ensure you have a clear exit at all times. By getting trapped in between two cars, many drivers won’t see you when the lights turn green, which could lead to a bad result.
Ultimately, you’ll always want to maintain a safe and sensible distance from another car.
4. Pay Attention to the Road Ahead
Every individual on the open road should adopt this measure, but specifically cyclists: paying attention to the road ahead. By looking several cars or street ahead, you can better prepare yourself and you can perhaps take a different route if there is too much traffic.
5. Refrain from Using Headphones or the Smartphone
For whatever reason, there is a growing trend among cyclists: they are either wearing headphones to listen to their music or they are using their smartphone.
Both are equally dangerous.
Remember, you are riding on a piece of metal and two rubber tires with only a safety helmet (hopefully). If you’re not focusing all of your attention on cycling or on your immediate vicinity, then you could risk injury.
Don’t wear headphones and don’t talk on your phone, though car owners are guilty of this, too.
6. Be Visible, Use Hand Signs & Stay Safe
Finally, as you ride your city bike, you need to incorporate three basic ideas into your daily commute:
- Stay visible: wear bright colours.
- Use hand signs: learn all of the hand signs.
- Be safe: sport a helmet, ride on side streets or bike lanes, and abide by the rules.
Riding a bicycle is serious and dangerous. So, there is no reason to dismiss these tips.
A city bike is a great way to save money on transportation, get in a bit of exercise, and avoid the stress of driving an automobile or taking public transit. You’re also doing your part to help the environment.
But it is only a worthwhile endeavour if you make sure that you are as safe as possible, whether it is wearing a helmet or taking the rules of the road seriously.
No matter how frustrating motorists can be, they will always win the battle of Darwin if you challenge their supremacy.