Urban cycling does not have to become an extreme sport. As with any other vehicle or even as a pedestrian, we are exposed to an accident at any time. However, if we drive responsibly, we can reduce risks considerably. Here we share 10 Tips For The Urban Cyclist In 2021 and more safely and enjoy pedaling more.
1. Check the bike before leaving.
The first thing we have to do before riding is to check that the bike is in good condition. It is important to check:
- Tire pressure
- Chain and changes
- Seat height
2. Bring a basic kit of tools and spare parts
You never know when a tire will go flat or have to make some minor adjustments or repairs to the bike. It is highly recommended that we always leave the house with our primary tool kit. It is not pleasant to have to interrupt our trip for a small detail that would be easy to solve with the right tools.
3. Ride in your lane
The bicycle is a vehicle, and, like automobiles, it has the right to circulate on public roads (streets, avenues, etc.). The bike must travel in the far right lane.
If you are driving faster than other vehicles in the right lane, you can change lanes to pass.
Sometimes it is possible to drive slightly loaded to the right of the lane to allow cars to pass. However, we have the right to take the entire lane.
Finally, on streets where there are parked cars, be sure to keep a safe distance to avoid slamming doors.
4. Respect stop and yield signs
It is essential that whenever we see a sign indicating “Stop” or “Give way”, we respect it. For safety, we must stop and make sure that other vehicles or pedestrians do not come before continuing on our way.
5. Respect sidewalks and crosswalks
Sidewalks and crosswalks, as the name implies, are for the use of pedestrians. If for any reason, you have to get on the sidewalk or crosswalk, it is best to get off your bike and walk.
6. Always be visible
A large number of collisions occur because the rider is not seen on time or is not seen at all. Drivers are often not aware of the road. There are a series of measures that we can use to get the attention of drivers and make it easier to be seen.
- Wear brightly colored clothing
- Reflective vest
- Circular in the direction of the roads
- Ride in the center of the lane
7. Check before turning, changing lanes, or merging into the flow of the road
Before performing any of these maneuvers, we have to see that we have enough space to do it. If possible, it is important to make eye contact with other drivers to make sure they have visited us.
8. Road communication
It is important that we convey our intentions to other users. If we let them know that we are going to change lanes, turn or stop, we can avoid mishaps. An excellent way to do this is through hand signals.
It is not enough to signal and go. Before making our maneuver, we must signal early, at a safe distance, and make sure they have seen us.
9. Do not pass on the right side.
Like any vehicle, when passing, we will have to do it on the left side. Especially when the light is red, it is easy to want to pass on the right side. In addition to the fact that the space to give can be pretty small, we can find obstacles such as sewers. Remember that passengers from both private vehicles and public transport are more likely to get off these and do so from this side.
10. Don’t react aggressively to an uninformed motorist.
There is a huge lack of road culture, so it is not uncommon to find misinformed drivers who do not know the rights of cyclists to circulate on the roads. Sometimes we may receive the typical “get on the sidewalk” or some other type of aggression.
The ideal is not to react abrasively. Say hello, give him a smile, or just ignore him. This often confuses them and may make them reconsider.
Take into account that if you react violently, you risk or if you cannot cause the driver to want to take revenge against another cyclist who is on the road.
By following these ten tips, you will minimize risks. You will be able to circulate with more peace of mind and enjoy your trip. The bicycle can be pretty safe if you are responsible and learn to share the roads with other users. We are all bike ambassadors. You have to lead by example!
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