Your number one priority while riding on the road should always be your safety. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best tips to ensure you are out of the sight of danger while riding on two wheels. The rules here apply for traditional and also electric bikes.
Always Assume Car Doors Will Open
One of the worst occurrences to happen on a bike is getting knocked down by a swinging car door. The only real way to prevent this type of event from happening is to stay as far from parked cars as possible.
Always try to be aware of any movement within those parked cars that would be a suggestion that someone was getting ready to open the door.
Never Kerb Crawl
Riding your bike in the gutter or close to the kerb, is never a wise idea as this is where you will find much debris and your tyres are going to have a difficult time.
Additionally, riding close to the kerb means you have little room for quick navigation to avoid a pothole or other obstacle.
If You Can’t See Their Mirrors, They Are Unable To See You!
Not much else we can really say with that one. It is simple and can save your life if you remember it while on the road!
Never Tailgate Or Box Yourself In
Always be alert when transitioning between stationary traffic and never allow yourself to get boxed in between vehicles.
Always try to have a clear exit in vision if you need to get out of the way quickly. An excellent example of this would be if you were approaching a red light and were to be moving between rows of slow-moving or stationary traffic.
You will not want to get trapped in this situation as a number of drivers would be unable to see you if you are sitting right next to them when the light was to turn green.
Likewise, the stopping distance of other users on the road is going to be much better than yours, so always try to keep a sensible distance from other vehicles on the road.
Always Watch For Tyres And Eyes
Never assume that a driver has seen or spotted you. The best way to know a driver knows you are there is to make eye contact.
Additionally, you always want to keep an eye of the front wheels of the vehicle or the actions
Bossing Your Lane
There are times when you will need to boss your lane, if a car is unable to pass, do not allow them to do so.
Due to the fact that the bike is the slower moving vehicle, they need to be able to position themselves in such a way that the possibility of being overtaken is as safe as needed for other road users. However, the main problem with this situation is that this is not going to be an ideal location for a bicycle as your visibility is limited on the road.
With this in mind, it is best to boss you lane, meaning that you take the central position when you feel it is needed.
By carefully taking your lane, you will increase your overall visibility to other drivers, especially at dangerous intersections and T-junctions.
For more information on this, be sure to check out the nine articles complete with illustrations that British Cycling put together here.
Use Caution Around Large Vehicles
The vast majority of accidents that occur are usually between large vehicles and bicycles and end with dire situations. Regardless of whether it is a truck or a bus, the principles will always remain the same.
Under any circumstances, you should never try to undertake a large vehicle as they have large blindspots, which makes you virtually invisible.
Even if you are travelling in the bike lane, never pass a stopped truck, unless you are fully clear of their intentions before traffic begins to move.
Never Risk The Amber Light
You can understand that taking any risk at a junction is a bad idea. Likewise, trying to run a red light, is going to make it more difficult for other cyclists and give the anti-cyclers more ammunition to rid the roadways of bikes.
Always Look Further Ahead
This is one tip that applies to every form of cycling, many cyclers stay fixated on the area directly in front of their wheel. Staying fully safe on the road entails a form of anticipation, you need to enhance your skills f being prepared for anything.
This may seem weird, but it has the possibility of saving your life.
Always Ride For Yourself
Never blindly follow other riders as they may not have the best skills or may simply make bad decisions. In some instances, they may not even realize you are following them.
We understand that as a beginner it may seem easier and safer to follow others, but we do not recommend it. More than likely they are not going to consider your safety over their own and they may not even be that good of a rider.
Always follow your own instinct and ride for yourself. Use your own abilities and keep safety in mind while you are in traffic.
Consider Daytime Running Lights.
While it is not standard practice, many are equipping their bikes with daytime running lights.
While these are typically found on cars, there is a thought process that they would help cyclists stay safe.
In fact, many believe that daytime running lights will help to increase bikers being seen by drivers.
These lights are designed to be super-bright to be easily seen during the day and have a much wider range. The Trek Daytime Running Lights are designed to be detectable up to 2km away during the day.
Treating The Bike Lane As A Regular Lane
A large number of cyclists consider the bike lane as a lane of absolute safety and that is not always the case.
There are some that are secured by pylons and kerbs, but that is not always the case. You must remain vigilant! It is common practice for cars to merge into bicycle lanes, turn directly in front of you, or even open doors directly into a bike lane.
There is nothing better than an awesome ride with great tunes for morning motivation, but it can be rather dangerous.
Your ears are just as valuable as your eyes while riding with traffic. Always ensure that you are able to hear what is going on all around you fully.