Guide to Cycling Safety for Urban Commuters
Safety is always the first thing any cyclist should be aware of when riding their bikes. It's not only about their own safety but also other passenger's. Some cities are well-equipped with infrastructures designed for cycling, which makes great contribution to increase cyclist safety. In addition, a great part of safety also depends on awareness, preparation and skills of cyclists.
In this article, you can learn all useful tips of riding safely, not only in cities but also in other long-distance trips.
5 Basic Rules You Always Need to Follow
We have compiled basic essential rules you should always stick to, no matter where and when you bike.
- Wear helmets. Even though there are some controversial discussions on importance of putting on a helmet, I personally still recommend all bicyclists, especially kids, to stay protected with a helmet on their head.
- Learn & follow traffic laws. As I know, lots of riders simply just jump on their bicycles and ride away without ever reading the laws, since they might have thought cycling doesn't have to be as strict as riding a motorbike or a car. Actually, in the USA, bicyclists are required to follow the laws as any other riders. Head over to read the main principles in the US traffic laws.
- Stay alert and focused. Ride with caution and always pay attention to traffic, other passengers and any obstacles on the street. By doing that, the high chance is you can avoid hazards or at least quickly react to them.
- Be visible. Learn about blind spots and make sure you and your bike are always seen. If you ride at night or during dark winter, always equip your bike with lights and wear reflective clothes.
- Watch intently and give signals when you turn. Never make a sudden turn in front of other vehicles. Allow yourself enough time and space to announce other passengers about your turn. Remember to observe carefully.
Before A Ride
Make sure your bike function properly.
Always check your bike's working condition. Look at brakes, lights, wheels, seat height, etc. to make sure it is safe and comfortable enough for you to ride on.
- Seat height: The bike seat should be adjusted in a way that your legs almost straightens while pedaling. For beginners, I suggest to make the seat high enough for your legs to touch the ground - which helps to take control and get balance on the bike.
- Brakes: They must be well functional and responsive. You don't want to ride a bike that cannot stop sharply.
- Wheels & Tires: Tires must be pumped at the right air pressure. In addition, check if your bike wheels can spin without rubbing against brake pads or anything else, and there are no holes or cuts on tires from which air would escape.
Plan your route
The more you familiarize yourself with the route, the better you can prepare for any unexpected hazards. Check out these awesome apps for planning your routes easily on your mobile phones.
Other Useful Articles to Read
On Folding Bike Guru, we have published a number of useful articles on bicycle commuting and safety. Check them out to acknowledge yourself how to ride responsively and safely.
- FAQ on riding folding bikes. Folding bikes have certain differences in shapes and riding experiences than other typical bicycles. For those who are not familiar with riding a folding bike, this article will explain how it is like to ride one.
- Essential guide to biking to work. Biking to work requires a careful preparation since you don't want to be late or turn all sweaty when arriving to work. This article provides some great tips to get rid of those concerns.
- How to survive cycling in summer heat. You might just think a summer ride is just as normal as any ride during the year. Actually, intense heat can impose a dangerous cause to your body and affect your ride quality. In this article, you will find essential guidance to stay hydrated and prepare well for a hot ride.