Cycling on the road is a brilliant way to fit your cycle for charity training in with your every day life, it can take the place of commuting in the car or by public transport. Cycling to work is becoming more and more popular, but unfortunately there are close to 20,000 reports of cycling injuries and deaths each year. So how can you stay safe on the road as a cyclist?
Cycling safely is easy, it just takes a bit of common sense, and awareness of the highway code as well as other road users. Here are our top tips to get you from A to B:
- Be weather aware, Rain reduces visibility and stopping distances, and increases slipperiness.
- Think of yourself as a vehicle and follow the highway code. Don’t be tempted to jump red lights even if it looks clear. As a vehicle, steer clear of the pavements to avoid colliding with pedestrians. It’s illegal to cycle on the pavement.
- Be aware of car, van and lorry drivers and always keep in mind how visible you are to them. Are you cycling in a blind spot? Just as a car should never ‘undertake’ neither should you. Be particularly aware of lorries. They have big blind spots and need a wide berth.
- Think about junctions, where cars may be turning left. Eye contact with drivers is a great way to be absolutely sure they have seen you. Equally, make sure other road users are aware of where you intend to go. Signal your intention.
- Invest in a bell, It may not be the coolest accessory but if you need to alert pedestrians or drivers to your presence it can be really helpful.
- Be visible, You must have lights at night, you could also consider using a helmet mounted light and flashing ones really stand out. Try and wear bright colours, luminous yellow is best. If it’s raining or dark you want to ensure you can be spotted even out the corner of someone’s eye. You can get strips, vests, rucksack covers, and even bright helmets.
- Wear a helmet, If you do fall off it could be a life saver.
- Finally, ride with confidence and be decisive. Go, or don’t go. You have just as much right to the road as a car.