Cycling Prep Tips and Top 10 Safety Rules for The Road
So you’re ready to head out for a nice long (or short) bike ride. Whether it’s for pleasure or you’re commuting to work, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, preparation is key so you can enjoy the journey and get to your destination safely.
Here are some absolute musts before you head out to make your ride safe, comfortable and uninterrupted, so you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors as you cruise along with the wind at your back.
Absolute must haves
First is the bike and the gear:
- Good quality bike, suitable for the terrain you’re riding (mountain, road, city)
- Bike map with bike lanes and/or local knowledge of the roads.
But there’s more. You’ll need some tools and accessories:
- Bike pump
- Flat-fix tools
- Other bike tools
- Bike clothes
- Phone handlebar mount
Biking on city streets means riding alongside cars (and other cyclists) so it has its own challenges. The key is to ride safe which means obeying the rules. Here are 10 important bike safety rules:
- Wear a helmet
- Stay visible; use bike lights and/or wear bright clothes.
- Look and Signal; use hand signals to let drivers know where you’re going, try to make eye contact with them and look before you go.
- Stay alert; for obstacles on the road and cars and other motor vehicles.
- Ride in the right direction; don’t go opposite of the traffic flow.
- Be predictable; don’t just weave in and out of traffic.
- Don’t get distracted; don’t use your phone while riding your bike, or listen to music.
- Obey all the traffic laws and lights.
- Watch out for parked cars; make sure no one is going to throw their doors open.
- Test your bike before you ride it; check the brakes, wheels, tires, and make sure that everything works perfectly.
And don’t forget the water and a snack.
- Hydrating before, during and after your ride is important to prevent dehydration. Bring a bottle with you. If you’re biking more than two hours, stop for a refill. But remember to keep your eyes on the road and not on grabbing the water bottle.
- Granola and energy bars are a great way to get some quick fuel for your body. Grab a few to have handy when you need a pick me up en route.
So there you have it. Ready, set go. And enjoy the ride.
-by Tracy Pattin