A few tips for staying safe and having fun on your bike!
- Cycling is fun, good for the environment and keeps you fit.
- It's no wonder that cycling is proving to be an increasingly popular way to get around.
More cyclists on the road sadly means more cycling accidents, however. No need to slam on the brakes though - you just need to remember to stay alert.
Follow these tips to reduce your chance of accidents and make your cycling more fun the whole year round!
A few things to remember
Watch your speed
It can feel great to build up some speed on your bike. Still, it's important to adjust your speed and slow down when necessary. This might be if poor weather has made the road slippery, for example, but also when it's busy and you have to consider the safety of other road users, like cyclists or pedestrians.
Don't get distracted
Most accidents happen because we fail to notice hazards in time or react too slowly. That's why you need to keep your eyes on the road and avoid being distracted by your smartphone. Make eye contact with people crossing your path. If they're not looking at you, they might not have seen you.
Make sure you have good visibility
If your vision is impaired, due to the weather for example, it's more difficult to assess a dangerous situation. It's therefore best to wear lenses instead of glasses, so that you can see more clearly in the rain and you don't have to deal with any fogging up.
Stay in control
There's an art to keeping your bike under control in all conditions, especially now that more than half of all bicycles sold are equipped with electric pedal assistance.
Check and see if everything is okay before you head out. It's important to check your brakes, tyres, saddle height and pedals. You should also carefully test your bike in a safe place to see how it behaves when you have to suddenly brake hard or swerve.
Pick your route wisely
Look out for:
• A safe route, which might not always be the shortest or fastest way, but is often a nicer way to cycle
• Leave some leeway in your planning, so you don't have to rush into traffic
What to watch out for when cycling in summer
As soon as the sun is shining, it's easy to feel the itch to go cycling. If you want to stay safe in the saddle however, it's a good idea to prepare for a few risks. When getting ready to take your bike back onto the road, a check-up at a cycle shop (which can be paid for with eco vouchers) is not some unnecessary luxury!
Cycling at night
In the summer, it stays warm outside longer, so you can enjoy your bike rides later in the day. If you cycle after dark, make sure you have a white front light and reflector, red rear light and reflector, orange or yellow reflectors on the pedals and orange or yellow reflectors or white reflective tape on the wheels.
Cycling to work
Summer is the ideal time to ride your bike to work. Unfortunately, many accidents take place while commuting. No less than 50% of bicycle accidents occur during the morning rush hour between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 32% of those involved have been employed for less than a year.
Striking figures that show just how important it is to have proper knowledge of your bicycle route. So, pay extra attention when planning your bike ride and while cycling so you can master your route quickly.
Safer cycling in winter
If you're determined to brave the cold, you should know that the real die-hards are armed with our tips for cycling during the harsh winter months.
Braving winter weather
January is the month with the most bicycle accidents. It's no coincidence that it's also the darkest month of the year, often with slippery roads and snowfall. Be extra careful and adjust your speed in freezing weather.
Regardless of the conditions, it's a good idea to wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothes when out on your bike. Finally, your cycling gear should always include a helmet irrespective of whether the roads are slippery or not.
Get your bike ready for winter
Check your tyres: a firm profile and a little less air in the tyresgives a better grip on a slippery road. You can also get winter tyres for bikes!
If you have an electric bike, make sure your battery is charged as cold weather drains your battery faster.
Be sure to check that your chain hasn't gotten too dirty with snow or mud. Proper lubrication with chain oil works wonders!
Cycle safe, and have fun!