Are you looking for a way to explore a city that allows you to exercise and is better for the environment than using a vehicle? Then cycling is for you! Opting for a bicycle over other modes of transportation allows you to reap the following benefits:
- Lower stress levels;
- Enhance joint mobility;
- Reduce body fat;
- And improve cardiovascular health.
But, before you go out and by a new bike, here are some safety tips to learn so you can enjoy your cycling experience to the fullest and for as long as possible.
Ditch the Headphones
When biking your hearing is extremely valuable. It keeps you aware of what’s going on around you and helps you better discern vehicles coming up behind you.
Plan Your Route
Although traffic is becoming harder and harder to avoid, this doesn’t mean that some routes aren’t better than others. Route planning goes a long way in determining the route with the least amount of traffic. Even Google Maps can be an effective way to find routes with less traffic. And less traffic means a higher chance of arriving at your destination safe and sound.
Don’t Box Yourself or Tailgate
As a cyclist, your placement on the road is crucial. After all, in a collision with a vehicle, you’re going to get the worse end of the deal! For instance, cyclists should not be riding in between rows of stationary or slow-moving traffic at a red light. Many drivers may not see you when the light turns green and its time to go.
Don’t Assume Drivers Can See You
The last point was a perfect segway into this one. Instead of assuming, always ensure that a driver can see you. The easiest way to do this is by making eye contact with them. If this isn’t doable, try keeping an eye on the vehicle’s front tire or the driver’s actions at the steering wheel. Either of these can be solid indicators of the vehicle’s movement.
Watch Out for Car Doors
Unfortunately, getting doored is a common experience and can result in serious injury for the cyclist. Keeping a good distance between you and parked cars is a great way to prevent such accidents. Also, try to watch for movement inside parked vehicles, to get a sense of whether someone is inside or not.