Biking is a great way to get some cardio in and get yourself from one place to another. However, many cyclists, especially road cyclists, can tell you horror stories about close calls they’ve had while biking around cars. Because many drivers find it hard to watch out for bikers on the road, it’s important that cyclist know what they can do to help themselves stay safe when out on the streets. So to help you do just this as a cyclist, here are three road biking tips that will help you stay safe.
Understand That Your Bike’s Considered A Road Vehicle
One of the biggest reasons that people run into problems when road biking is that they don’t think of themselves as occupying the same space as the cars on the road. If you’re a biker and you’re not riding on the sidewalk, it’s important that you realize that you’re considered a road vehicle. According to Sophia Breene, a contributor to Greatist.com, this means you have to follow the same rules of the road as cars, meaning you have to stop at red lights or stop signs and you have to yield to traffic properly. By doing this, you’ll avoid a lot of the issues that most road cyclists encounter.
Use A Headlight
Another reason many road cyclists have a hard time being safe on the road is because it’s harder for them to be seen by drivers. Just like with motorcycles, many drivers aren’t necessarily looking out for cyclist because they’re used to seeing bigger objects coming down the road. To increase the likelihood of being seen, Michael Bluejay, a contributor to BicycleSafe.com, recommends that you put a headlight on your bike and use it at all times. Especially if you’re riding at night or when there’s less light, it’s crucial that you use a headlight for safety purposes.
Always Wear The Right Gear
While it’s best to avoid getting into any type of accident while road cycling, it’s smart to be prepared in the event that something does happen. To best protect yourself from injury, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shares that cyclists should always wear a helmet, no matter what. If you’re wanting to be even safer, consider wearing things like knee or elbow pads as well. Just be sure that the safety gear you’re wearing is the right size for you, or else it won’t be able to protect you as well as it should. If you’re not sure what size helmet you should be using, visit a bike shop or sporting goods store near you to get assistance with a properly fitting bike helmet.
If you’re considering road biking, use the tips mentioned above to help you stay safe on the road.