Whether you cycle to work, with your kids to school, competitively or just for exercise, there are many ways that we can all become safer cyclists. We’ve put together a list of 20 tips to help you take extra precautions when on the road.
For more hints and tips about bike safety, follow us on our social media channels! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Alternatively, if you have a question about best safety practices when cycling or the clothing and equipment you might need, feel free to pop into your local store and our in-store staff will be available to help.
One of the easiest ways to be safer on your bike is to wear a well-fitting helmet. Wearing a helmet will offer far better protection to your head in the case of an accident. We’ve got a great range of helmets in-store and online for you to try!
When you’re on your bike, bright and reflective clothing is your best friend! Making yourself visible through your clothing and accessories means you’ll be seen by other road users even at night or in poor visibility weather conditions.
By law in the UK, you must cycle with lights and reflectors on a public road after dark. The best practice is to have a white light on the front of your bike and red light on the rear. We’d also recommend reflectors on the front and rear of the bike and pedals too.
Whether it’s using an app on your phone, or simply looking out your window, always check the weather before your leave. If it’s raining, sunny or somewhere in-between, dressing appropriately for the weather can keep you safe and healthy. For example, in colder temperatures, you might want to wear thermal clothing and cycling gloves!
Remove any earphones and don’t check your phone! Just like when you’re driving, unnecessary distractions can take your focus off the road and subject you to a higher chance of danger. Replying to a text or listening to your favourite song can wait!
Cycling with a buddy will naturally make you more visible to road users, reducing the risk of being unseen by cars. As well as this, in the case of an accident or emergency, the other cyclist will be able to assist in getting the necessary help.
Using cycle-specific lanes are a great way to avoid busy and potentially dangerous roads. Remember that being in a cycle zone doesn’t guarantee your safety, stay focused and be careful wherever you ride.
Punctures can occur at the most frustrating times! Carrying a puncture repair kit is a great idea, particularly if you’re on a long journey. We’ve got a great range of maintenance tools and kits in-stock, visit our website or your local store to browse.
On longer trips, or particularly warm days, it is crucial to stay hydrated. We’d recommend installing a bottle cage to keep your drink easily accessible. Take regular water breaks when it is safe to do so to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Never ride against the traffic, always ride with it. Riding against the traffic is strongly unadvised, even on quieter roads.
As well as watching out for weather conditions, keep an eye on how this is affecting the road. Knowing the weather will help you assess how to appropriately dress, however, road conditions should determine whether or not you decide to cycle. If the road is looking icy or particularly wet, you may want to stay at home.
Before making your journey, plan out your route so that you’ve got a solid idea of where you’ll be going. If you use an app like Google Maps, it’ll give you updated travel information including any hold-ups that you might want to avoid.
Planning your route will also help you ride confidently. You won’t need to think so much about where you’re going, allowing you to focus on being a safe and considerate cyclist.
It’s also a good idea to let somebody know your route, particularly if you’re an inexperienced cyclist.
Narrow roads aren’t best designed for cyclists because cars may find it difficult to pass you on the right. Try to opt for a wider road, or a road with a bike lane if possible.
Being on a bike doesn’t excuse you from the rules of the roads. It’s important that you cycle with the cars and adhere to the rules that apply to them too. For example, cyclists often fail to stop at red lights, however, doing so puts you and other vehicles in danger.
Help drivers understand where you’re heading by using appropriate hand signals. Make sure you signal clearly and with intent in plenty of time before you make the manoeuvre!
If you’re riding alongside parked cars, slow down and if possible, keep a good distance between yourself and the car. This should help better protect you in an instance where the driver or passenger opens the car door in your cycle path.
When you’re off on a bike ride, don’t forget to take essential items with you that will help in the case of an emergency. These include your mobile phone and some money!
Although you might feel that it is safer to stay close to the kerb, it isn’t always the best practice. Being extremely near to the kerb can be damaging to your tyres as it’s where a lot of dirt and debris sits.
As well as this, when the kerb is too close, if you need to swerve due to a pothole, road defect, or something else, you’re not giving yourself much space to do so. This is likely to cause a dangerous situation for yourself and other road users.
When you’re out on your bike, you’re likely to be highly exposed to the sun’s UV rays, particularly in the height of summer. Before you set off, always remember to put on SPF. If you’re out on a particularly long journey or stopping somewhere before you make your way home, we’d recommend carrying SPF with you so that you can top up later on.
When a car is travelling at a speed, you’re likely going to find it difficult to know whether or not they have seen you. Don’t rely on their eye contact alone, concentrate more on their overall behaviour to get a better idea about whether they are aware of your presence.