Riding along on your pushbike
Most people think they know what cycling safely is all about.
After all, the majority of us learnt to cycle from a young age. We’ve done it for years. We know what we are doing.
Cycling is enjoyable, it has massive health benefits, and of course, is a cheap and effective mode of transport. And with the advent of initiatives such as the Big Pedal and cycle to work schemes, more and more of us are cycling.
We are all for it. But just a few sensible tips could help avert any unnecessary accidents. Let’s explore how to stay safe.
Quick tips for cycling safely
Tip 1: Be cautious, not competitive if your cycle to commute
According to a 2017 Department of Transport report, 37% of people who cycle, do so to commute. It’s a great way to get the blood pumping before you arrive at work. But your commute should not be treated like a competitive sport.
Undertaking cars, jumping red lights and taking unnecessary risks are a recipe for disaster. Think safety first, and save competitive cycling for a safer environment.
Tip 2: Make sure you can be seen
It stands to reason that you should wear bright clothing and reflective strips to be clearly visible. If you need lights on the bike, make sure they are good quality and kept clean.
But being seen also involves smart road sense. Just because you have seen a vehicle, it doesn’t mean they have seen you. Try and make eye contact with other motorists. That will give you more of a sense of certainty that they have seen you. This applies especially at road junctions, which are notorious accident hotspots.
Tip 3: Don’t be a martyr
It has been a mild winter, and it is starting to feel Spring-like. But we are still at a time of year where the weather can be incredibly changeable.
Unless you are a very experienced rider, wet weather or strong winds can heighten the risks of accidents whilst cycling. If you want to maintain your fitness, you can mix your outdoor cycling with periodic indoor cycling. And if you don’t like the idea of the static bikes down at the gym, turbo trainers offer a great alternative.
Cycling safely – Avoiding unnecessary injuries
Tip 4: Mix things up
The number one aim is to avoid accidents that can lead to serious injuries. But at the same time, it pays to reduce the risk of other cycling related injuries too.
Many of you will be relatively new to cycling and are looking to improve your times and performance. The temptation is to cycle as much as you can now that you have discovered a new found hobby.
But be aware that if you use cycling exclusively as your mode of exercises it can eventually lead to musculoskeletal imbalances. Incorporating weight training or postural centred practices such as yoga or Pilates can help you maintain all-round fitness, and help you avoid injury.