Ten tips for your safety on a bike

Ten tips for your safety on a bike

Riding a bike has a special charm offering many small pleasant sensations: the wind caresses your face, your body gets to move, you can discover alternative routes to traffic and you won’t be dependent on four-wheel vehicles. Bearing all this in mind, using a bike to get from place to place every day appears to be the perfect solution for combining usefulness (getting to work and keeping fit) with pleasure (getting about outdoors).

But there are two sides to every coin and, in this case, it involves the danger of riding on busy roads with cars and heavy vehicles. For their safety, amateur cyclists need to pay special attention to certain very simple fundamental rules, which we would like to point out here.

The Highway Code also applies to bikes

Remember that all the rules governing road traffic must be respected also by bike riders. Therefore, you must observe the rules regarding traffic lights and giving way to other traffic unless you want to incur hefty fines.

Bike maintenance

It is important to regularly check the pressure of your tyres, the working condition of the brakes and gears (for bikes fitted with them), as well as the bell and lights.

Headlamps are compulsory

The Highway Code requires bikes, like all other vehicles, to show their presence by using reflectors, white or yellow lights at the front and a red ones at the back. Visual signalling must be used from half an hour after sunset and throughout all hours of darkness, including those due to particular weather conditions.

It is dangerous to ride two abreast

All cyclists, even when in a group, must ride in single file except in the case of an adult riding with a child under 10 years old. Only in this case, may the child remain at the edge of the road while the adult protects the child by riding alongside.

Stay watchful and alert

Even if listening to music with headphones or answering phone calls while riding a bike may seem harmless, it is actually not like that at all. It is essential to pay attention to the sounds around us because they could be of vital importance.

Take extra care when it rains

In particular, take care where lines are marked out on carriageways or where tram lines exist, which become hazardous and very slippery as soon as it starts to rain. If you need to cross over tracks, try to do this as perpendicularly as possible and avoid braking suddenly or abruptly changing direction.

Always stay in the same lane

Just like cars, bikes must also stay in the same lane, especially when approaching traffic lights.

Do not underestimate the unpredictable behaviour of motorists

It is very important to take care when passing alongside parked cars, since car doors could be opened suddenly causing dangerous falls. Likewise, it is better not to stay too close to the rear of a car because if it suddenly brakes, a bike would never be as quick to stop and a cyclist would be in a hazardous situation.

Your arms are very useful

In addition to maintaining the position of the bike and directing its movement, arms can be used to indicate the need to turn. Those who use the roads know well that cyclists indicate their intention to turn in this way, so it is a good idea not to forget to use them!

You cannot get to everywhere you want

Even though a bike is a means of transport that allows the utmost freedom of movement, you need to remember that you are not allowed to speed along on pavements or under arcades, since pedestrians have the right to walk safely. Where well-marked cycle lanes are provided, amateur cyclists must use them as their first option.