Cycling Tips: Road Safety Guide

Road cycling safety guide to inform cyclists of basic bicycle safety concerns and solutions.

With on going concerns for our environment, sluggish traffic jams and more people looking out for their health by staying in shape there is an increasing number of individuals who are leaving the car in the driveway and hitting the roads with their bikes.

Although in urban areas there is an increasing number of cyclists, the motorists still overwhelmingly outnumber them.Keeping this in mind, the road cyclist must utilize several precautions, guides, and tips which will keep their safety and the safety of others as the top priority.

This guide will give the cyclist the basic information that should be utilized to provide the safest road experience.

First let's start with the basics, the bike.Bicycles come in four general grades ranging in price from less than one hundred dollars to several thousand.Cost depends on many factors such as frame type and material, weight, suspension, plus a variety of other features and factors.Visit your local bike specialty store to get expert advice on which bike fits your needs.

Once you've selected the appropriate bike you will need a few accessories and equipment for road commuting, which can provide additional safety for you and the motorist.

First let's start with the bike helmet.There are numerous designs to choose from also ranging in price.Be sure that the helmet properly fits and is worn in the correct manner.Again, a great place to start for assistance with your helmet is your local bike shop.

Moving on to an important safety feature and motto for road safety is to be visible. An equipment addition, which elevates this factor, is to use a headlight and taillight on your bike.The importance of being seen can be the difference in avoiding dangerous situations and accidents.Whether you choose lights, which utilize multi beam power, or a flashing strobe type your personal safety increases with this equipment.

Keeping with the motto of being seen, you will need some type of reflective outerwear clothing.Depending on the weather conditions, your outerwear will change but should always utilize bright reflective colors and materials. Additionally, utilize protective eyewear.This will help eliminate the possibility of dirt or debris obstructing your vision. Also, add to your clothing items cycling gloves for increased grip strength and to help add additional protection for your hands.

A few other equipment additions for your bike include mirrors, and storage packs also called panniers.These items will assist you in your ability to maneuver safely and provide a protected area to carry your belongings.Also be sure to carry bike repair essentials such as a basic tool kit, tire pump, spare tube and patch kit.

Using both visibility and maneuverability techniques to the cyclists' advantage, you've taken the correct steps towards increased road safety.

Now let's move on to the rules, laws, and regulations of traffic and road safety.As a cyclist you must remember according to the law in every state a bicycle is either classified as a vehicle, or the operator is given all rights and responsibilities of an operator of a vehicle.This means, you the cyclist must abide all traffic laws as if you were driving a motor vehicle.

In order for you to be informed and updated of these laws, contact your state agency, which governs traffic safety to review these laws.

There are however a few rules we will touch upon now which are the basic foundation of road safety.First the core of obtaining and keeping your safety on the road is to take enough space for yourself.You have to remember your safety and the safety of others depends on you utilizing this rule.You are not required by law to squeeze to the right to allow motorists to pass.You have the right to the entire lane when necessary, and must use your judgment to determine if it is safe to move to the right. Just as a slow motor vehicle, if it is safe for you to drive to the right do so, but only when it is safe.Practicing the habit of moving over to the right actually increases your safety concerns due to unforeseen hazards such as collisions with parked cars or pedestrians, road surface hazards such as potholes, and objects on the roadside such as debris.So utilize caution when you provide room by moving to the right, and make your decisions based upon your environment.

As a road cyclist you should utilize Cooperative Cycling, which is the national standard for safe bicycling, which uses all standard traffic rules.A few major points of this standard are as follows.You must always ride moving in the same direction as the rest of traffic.You must stop for red lights and stop signs.Do not ride on the sidewalks.At intersections, always yield to traffic on the larger road.Always communicate your intentions to motorists by using appropriate signaling techniques, and allowing amble time to inform the motorist of your intentions.

Successful road cycling combines techniques, knowledge and the use of your judgment in every situation.To stay safe and to keep others safe is your responsibility and no ride should be taken too lightly.Stay focused, visible to all motorist, use patience and cooperation, and abide by all traffic laws and your cycling journey will be enjoyable, and most importantly safe.

© High Speed Ventures 2011