Commuting by bicycle is a great way to get around a major city. It’s faster than walking. Plus, it is healthier and more economic than driving. It’s a great way to energize yourself through exercise. Biking in city streets can be more dangerous than on trails or in the country. A first-time bicycle commuter should be prepared to do some extra steps to ensure their safety. If you bike without a concern to safety, you could end up injured or worse. These safety tips for riding a bicycle in major cities can help protect your life and limb.
Wear Safety Clothes
You can save your life by wearing a helmet and reflective clothing when you cycle. Most driver and pedestrians aren’t looking for cyclists. They might not notice you until they’ve walked or driven right into you. Reflective clothing will let you stand out in front of any background. The reflection will draw the eye and make sure the drivers notice you. While many states don’t require helmets to cycle, you should wear one anyway. If you’re in a small crash that knocks you over, the concrete curb can do serious and permanent damage to your unprotected head. Safety clothes may not be stylish or convenient, but they will keep you alive.
Avoid The Curb
When biking in the street, avoid the gutters and curb to have a safe ride. There are all sorts of obstacles in these danger areas that can crash your bike. If there aren’t designated bike lanes, bike in a car lane instead. Cars might try to pressure you to stay out of their lanes, don’t let them. Near the curb, there are obstacles that can crash your bike that won’t bother a car. You’re entitled to use car lanes as well as bike lanes. Make sure you have the space to safely ride your fat bike on the road, properly avoiding the dangers near the curb.
Maintain Your Bike
Make sure your bike is in good working order. Check the bike’s shifters and breaks before you use the bike. Also, regularly check you tire pressure, and if it’s low pump them up. About once a year, you should also take the bike in for an overhaul and cleaning. The local bike shop will clean the dirt out of your chain and breaks. They’ll also do a detailed inspection and make sure none of your parts need to be replaced. A bicycle is like any other mechanical device. It needs periodic maintenance to run smoothly. Without this maintenance, the bike could break. You could even lose brakes in the middle of traffic, which could lead to injuries.
One of the most common bike accidents involve getting hit by car doors. To avoid this, make sure you give doors space. Always leave enough space between your bike and a car so the door could open without hitting you. Always assume any door of any stopped car can open at any time. If a door opens close to you, you will have no warning before you’re hit. Car owners and passengers rarely, if ever, pay attention to cyclists. Take a defensive approach while riding through city streets so that you do not get hit by an opening door.
As you bike through the streets, make sure cars and pedestrians know what you mean to do. Try to make eye contact with oncoming traffic to confirm that drivers and walkers are paying attention. Use hand signals the indicate your turns to traffic. When passing other bikers and pedestrians, use a bell to inform them of your presence. Most importantly, keep out of car’s blind spots. Remember, if you can’t see the car’s mirrors, they can’t see you. Make sure your intentions are clear to the rest of the road and you can avoid a lot of accidents.
Biking in a city is a good mode of transportation if you remember a few basic safety rules. Always wear a helmet and reflective clothing. Avoid the curb and don’t ride in the gutter. Keep your bike in good working condition. Give car doors a sizable distance. Moreover, use your voice and hand signals to communicate clearly. With these safety tips in mind you can ride throughout the city without worry.