Staying safe while cycling – 5 most important rules.
Cycling can be one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to travel. It is also an excellent exercise, an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. However, it is worth remembering that cyclists encounter many dangers: they often share a road with cars and other motorised road users. Responsible cyclists need to follow some simple rules to stay safe. We will outline these briefly.
1. Correct bike adjustment
Before setting off, preferably at the start of a season, make sure everything is properly adjusted in your bike. Correctly set handlebars, saddle height and brake callipers not only increase riding comfort and safety, but also reduce the risk of straining particular parts of the body (e.g., the back), which could lead to various injuries. There is a separate post on preparing your bike for a new season.
How do I adjust the handlebars on my bike? This is something that needs to be done right at the start. Handlebars at a correct height and angle of ensure a correct posture when riding. This is more comfortable and reduces the risk of injury. Remember that on sports bikes the body should always be slightly inclined forward, whereas on city bikes the posture is usually more upright. Do not overlook adjusting the saddle height. Your hands should reach the handlebar grips comfortably and your arm should form a straight line from your elbow to your hand.
2. Necessary accessories
Cycling safety also largely depends on the equipment you carry with you. Reflective elements on a cyclist’s arm and/or clothing are an absolute must. You can’t forget about lighting either. A front and back lights are must-have accessories. We also recommend wearing a helmet, whether you are riding on a paved road or a forest path.
3. Correct tyre pressure
A lot of people ask about the optimal pressure in bike tyres for everyday use. Well, this depends on the type of tyre or inner tube and is usually found on the side of a tyre. Tyres should be pumped up every few weeks as even the best valve won’t be 100% airtight. It is easiest to pump up tyres at a specially equipped repair station. Cyclists can also usually check the pressure there as well. There are many such points near popular cycling paths or in centres of large cities.
4. Observing traffic rules
Remember that when cycling on roads you are subject to the same rules as other road users. Observing these rules is essential for cycling safety. Remember to use hand signals if you intend to turn, keep a good distance from other road users, do not listen to music while cycling and remain visible whatever the conditions (use lights and reflectors).
5. Plan your route
This last tip is especially significant for beginner cyclists. It pays off to plan every route. Set yourself a clear destination, check what you might come across along the way and pay attention to the road surface you’ll be travelling on. Try to avoid busy roads and use designed cycling paths. Take something to eat and drink for longer journeys. Check if there are any bike repair stations along your route.