A cycling day can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to take some precautions. Here are 10 tips for your next bike ride:
1 – Set the route
This is an important step, so you can enjoy the best possible ride, but also to make it safer. By planning, you can take note of the busiest areas and find alternative routes with less traffic. A safe ride is a lot more fun.
2 – Check your bike’s condition
It seems obvious, but the truth is many cyclists forget to do this. Chain, tires and pedals all are important details, and the sum of all parts together will weigh in the enjoyment of the ride. Nobody likes a bad surprise, and avoiding them will ensure a smooth ride, enjoying nature, the landscape and the exercise, without needless interruptions.
3 – Prefer light clothes
Even if it’s clear in the morning, you never know if the weather will decrease visibility. Light clothing will increase our visibility for drivers and add to overall street safety.
4 – Bring your helmet
We sometimes wrongly assume that a helmet is only helpful for rough tracks, but it’s definitely essential for all rides. Falling off your bike can happen for a number of reasons, regardless of road type, so be sure to always wear it.
5 – Bring a change of clothes and sunscreen in the backpack
Rain can come by surprise and leave us soaked, or a new path can lead us to a muddy road and ruin our careful choice of sportswear. A change of clothes in the backpack, not only for comfort but even to prevent a cold, is always a good idea. Sunscreen, on the other hand, is for when a cloudy day suddenly turns into a scorching hell. No one wants tan marks on the wrong places, or worse, a painful burn on the shoulders or neck. Keep safe from the sun, rain and mud and have a fantastic cycling day.
6 – Do not forget to drink lots of liquids
A second bottle of water often seems like excessive weight in the backpack, but it is essential to replenish the body’s fluids several times during the ride, so as to enjoy it without thirst or danger of dehydration.
7 – Don’t stay too close to the sidewalk
Contrary to what some people think, reducing the space you occupy in a road lane may do more harm than good. One of the main causes of cyclist-related accidents in Brazil (as provided by Matias Mickenhagen, director of Urban Cyclists Association of São Paulo) is that car drivers believe they can overcome a cyclist without changing lanes.
8 – Don’t ride the wrong way
You probably know about this already, but we’ll say it anyway. Cycling against traffic can lead to speed miscalculations in regard to approaching vehicles. Keep on the right way and enjoy your ride.
9 – Use gestures to signal your trajectory
Don’t forget to signal your turns when cycling in urban or otherwise busy areas. If possible, check if nearby drivers are aware of your signals. Better safe than sorry!
10 – Be patient
We all know it can be infuriating to pass a poorly educated or careless driver, but don’t let that spoil your ride and your day. Stay calm, enjoy yourself and don’t forget to follow all road rules, whether in the city or in the countryside.
Dangers are everywhere, but you can prevent most – stay safe and have a happy cycling day! 🙂