Nowadays road cycling is becoming a more popular and convenient way of travelling. Commuting on two wheels is not only good for the planet but brings enjoyments and is a great form of exercise to help keep you healthy and fit. It can also be relaxing if you enjoy being outdoors. Although it’s fun, there can be some risks. We’ve listed some useful tips to consider when it comes to road cycling:
It’s important to make sure you are in a road position that is visible to other drivers. Keeping a safe distance from the kerb helps you to be seen and avoid any wet or slippery drains covers and surfaces, potholes and debris at the side of the road. It also means that you have plenty of space on your left to move into if someone is overtaking too closely. If the road is unsafe for overtaking, you can move into the centre of the lane which is also known as the primary position.
Make Sure You Are Seen
The Highway Code advises that you should wear appropriate clothes for cycling to increase your visibility of other road users seeing you. Light colours and fluorescent clothing is suggested for during the day and bright or reflective clothing in the dark or poor weather conditions.
Brake lights will also allow you to be seen. It’s a legal requirement for cyclists to have lights and reflectors fitted; white front and read rear lights lit at night as well as a red rear reflector. Amber pedal reflectors are also a must if the bike was manufactured after 1/10/85.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It’s important to be aware of what is happening around you at all times. Keep a look out for potential hazards that could become an obstruction such as potholes, uneven/slippery surface, road bumps or car doors being opened. This gives you plenty of time to prepare ahead and move around safely so you don’t have to suddenly swerve or brake.
Make Eye Contact
It’s always best to try and communicate with road drivers and pedestrians to check that they have seen you, particularly at busy junctions like roundabouts and crossings. If you have a bell, use it!
Clear Signal Intentions
Before making your manoeuvre or moving away from the kerb, check behind to ensure it’s safe and signal your intentions clearly so other road drivers know what you are going to do.
Finally, remember to always follow the rules of the road, especially the Highway Code. And don’t forget your helmet… safety first!