Most of us live in cities and as kids have cycled back and forth from school, and have indulged in it in our play times. However, as we grew up, we gave up on cycling due to safety reasons and for reasons unknown to most of us which makes us still wonder – why? But in the recent years, other than as a sport, bicycling in cities is once again starting to flourish, for many reasons like health and environmental benefits, time and cost savings, and more so for the sheer joy of riding!
Here are a few things you must have in place and a few things to keep in mind so that commuting in cities so as to make our rides smooth and safe.
Brakes and Reflectors/Lights
- It is very important for you to have well maintained brakes, especially when you ride in the city to slow down or stop at any moment to avoid an accident.
- Extra accessories for safety like a white front light, a red back light and a rear reflector are very important. It is also recommended to wear a high-visibility jacket or reflective strips on clothing in order to be visible to others on the road.
Carrier, Helmets and No Headphones
- It is not advisable to carry things on your handlebar. Always have a carrier attached to your bike and tie it securely to the back carrier.
- Road Safety Authority recommends that you should always wear your helmet every time you are on your bike despite of the distance your ride.
- Another important thing you should keep in mind is to be alert to what’s happening around you, so avoid riding with headphones on.
Always carry a bicycle lock and ensure you lock the bike’s frame around a fixed object like a pole/tree etc.
Sipper Bottle and Bottle Cage
- It is important to carry sipper bottles to stay hydrated.
- Also have a bottle cage to store the bottle, wherein just one hand is enough to pull it out from the bottle cage and drink water and return it to its place.
Spare tubes and a Mini Pump
- Remember to always carry a spare tube to replace the damaged one, when you end up with a flat tire.
- A mini pump will then be handy to inflate the tire and get you back on the road.
Rules of the Road – Remember the rules to all road users are the same
1. Everybody must obey the traffic rules which means that a red light means STOP for cyclists as well.
2. If you feel unsafe about the safety, you must get off and walk your bike. This is acceptable and might even be quicker!
3. Many city streets will have parking for cars on the road. When cycling alongside a line of parked cars, maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and the cars in case a door opens suddenly.
4. If you are passing a car a moving car, signal in advance, check for traffic approaching from behind, move out only when it is safe to do so.
5. If the car ahead of you indicates any left or a right turn it is always advisable to allow the car to make their first move.
6. While at the turn, slow down, stay alert and keep your eyes on the road you are turning onto.
7. If you want to make a turn where there are no traffic lights, either onto a side road, or at a junction,n it is recommended to give a signal well in advance, check for traffic approaching from behind and make a move when it is safe to do so.
We want to make every cycling experience positive and safe and so we hope these tips help you have a great experience while on the road!