Commuting to work by bike is a great way to keep fit and avoid the rush hour traffic or cramped public transport. Cycle paths are few and far between, however, and even when they are available, they’re not always very well kept. Safety is always important, whether you’re on a cycle path or contending with cars on the road. If you already commute to work or you’re thinking about making a change, here’s how to stay safe.
Choose a Reliable Bike
Starting with a solid bike that you can rely on will help you stay safe during your commute. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you don’t want a bike that’s going to fall apart on you. You can even buy a second-hand bicycle if you want to save money, but check the condition before riding. Take your bike to a repair shop to get it looked at.
Ride Confidently (But Sensibly)
When you’re riding regularly, especially on the road, being confident is essential. You can’t be too hesitant or reluctant about making the right moves. If you hesitate, you could send mixed signals to drivers, other rides and pedestrians. However, you need to get the right balance between confident and aggressive. Be sensible and don’t take any risks that you don’t have to.
Your head is one of the most important parts of your body to protect while riding your bike. While some people might say that they’re safer without one, wearing a helmet could be the difference between life and death in a lot of situations. Your helmet should fit you well, and it should be in good condition. Used helmets aren’t a great idea because you don’t know if they’ve been in accidents before.
Be Visible in the Dark
In the autumn and winter, you’re likely to be facing riding to work and home in the dark. Cycling in the dark increases the risk of commuting by bike, so you need to be extra careful about staying safe. To make sure that you’re visible in the dark, make sure you wear reflective clothing. You should also have lights on the front and back of your bike.
Don’t Overload on Luggage
You probably need to take some things to and from work, whether it’s a laptop or some important documents. A backpack can be a simple solution, but remember that it might obscure your reflective clothing. Pannier bags are an alternative that might be more practical. Whatever you choose, don’t take too much stuff.
Wear an Air Vest
Wearing an air vest is another excellent way to keep yourself safe while you commute by bike. It offers you airbag protection if you fall, protecting your vital organs, ribs, collarbone and other key areas. It inflates in less than a tenth of a second, and won’t feel too bulky while you’re wearing it.
Keep yourself safe while commuting by bike, and you can make your commute a lot more enjoyable on a day to day basis.