The long-awaited summer holidays have arrived and everyone is ready to take the road to their holiday destinations. Cyclists take their bicycles along to cycle wherever they decide to go. Before any of this can happen, we should take note that motorists become less vigilant on the roads during December and this is the season where most road accidents take place. Here are some safety tips for cyclists this summer holiday season.
1. Act within the boundaries of the law
Cycling rules should be followed at all times. This will not only keep you safe but also motivate motorists to respect your place on the road. Do not run a stop sign or traffic light under any circumstances. Keep in single file when riding in a group. Keep to the left side of the road and indicate accordingly.
2. Keep left
It is generally safer to keep to the far left of the road when driving with the flow of traffic. It is not safe to ride on a sidewalk which is meant for pedestrians. Avoid overtaking or crossing busy roads when not driving at the same speed as the rest of the traffic.
3. Form a link
Keeping the same pace as traffic is safer, as this will allow you to join in and ride with the traffic. Many roads are too narrow for motorists and cyclists to each have their own space on the road, joining in traffic will then allow an easier flow of traffic and also make you more visible to motorists.
4. Gear up
Ensure that you have the correct cycling gear and that your bicycle is in good repair to take to the road. Always wear your protective helmet as it is the only safety measure against head injury. Ensure that your bike is in good shape, and check the brakes, tyres, wheel nuts, pedals and seat stability every time before you go out on the road. Wear reflective or fluorescent clothing to increase visibility on the road.
5. Make eye contact
Keeping eye contact with drivers when you turn or overtake, or even when you stop next to them at a traffic light, will remind the motorists that you are in fact a living person, and it also makes you more visible. Make sure that you indicate in advance before making turning.
6. Stay on the straight and narrow
Keeping a straight line in traffic and riding in single file will allow other road users to not be surprised by any sudden movements. Do not swing from side to side on the road – this will also ensure that you can make challenging turns easier. It is easier to keep a straight line when both hands are on the handlebars at all times. Also, be mindful of keeping your distance, as braking is not as easy for cyclists as for motorists.
Stay safe on the roads this holiday season and ensure that you will live to see the next. Remember these safety tips and enjoy your cycling experience this season.