Cycling as an activity is very popular around the world. According to a recent study published by Statista Research Department measuring cycling participation in England from 2016-2021, it showed that in 2021, around 6.5 million people were cycling for sport, leisure, or travel. Of course, what this study does not take into account is how many of those 6.5 million were cycling with the proper safety precautions in place. In a situation where you’re cycling on the inside of a busy road, all it takes is one car to make a wrong move for you to be thrown from your bike and deposited face-first into the concrete path of an oncoming vehicle. This is where equipment like a helmet will save your life, but even before that you can avoid this happening in the first place purely by having your wits about you and taking proper care in riding safely.
Checking your bike for faults
Before you set out, it can be important to perform a quick check to all the parts on your bike: Is your seat at the right level? Are your brakes working properly? Are your tyres pumped up? Do your headlights work (if you’re anticipating riding in dark areas or at night)? Can you steer and pedal properly? Is your chain clean and lubricated? These short tests will help you avoid any mishaps on your journey. Additionally, we provide a free assessment service for bikes to check they’re in the right working order.
Plan your route
If you’ve gone for a ride to a particular destination which is perhaps not somewhere you go regularly, it can be beneficial to plan out the route you’re taking beforehand. You could make sure to avoid high-traffic areas where possible, and take into account weather conditions as this can affect how smooth your journey is in specific places. Our range of bike repair services will help in situations on your route that may damage your bike, be it puncturing or loose parts.
Ride predictably and defensively
Take care not to cycle erratically, making last-second turns or swerves. When at a crossroads or somewhere with multiple directions to take, signal with your hands which way you will be taking before you take it; this will give drivers the opportunity to slow down or swerve around you. You should assume that drivers can’t see you and prepare yourself to react to sudden moves or changes in traffic, remaining calm and alert. You should pay equal attention to the road itself, checking that you’re not riding through potentially hazardous areas that could detriment your ride. For example: there could be broken glass in the road or patches of ice. As an added measure to combat some of these problems, we offer a replacement tyre service designed to be puncture-resistant.
Follow traffic laws
This may feel like an obvious one but it can often go over cyclists’ heads. Simple rules can be to stop at red traffic lights or at zebra crossings and yielding to emergency vehicles, but can also extend to avoiding going the wrong direction down one-way roads or not cycling on pavements and using designated cycle lanes where appropriate, riding with traffic and not against it. Although a bicycle is accessible to anyone without the need of a license, it is considered a vehicle and therefore should abide for the most part to the rules of the road set out for motor vehicles.