It’s a beautiful day — the sun is shining, the birds are chirping. What could be more perfect than a bike ride? But wait! Before you pull your bike out of the garage, let’s find out how to stay safe on two wheels.
Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now number about one billion worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many parts of the world.
Bicycles provide numerous benefits by comparison with motor vehicles, including the sustained physical exercise necessarily involved in cycling, that cycling involves a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, much reduced traffic congestion, easier parking, greater maneuverability, and access to both roads and paths. The advantages also include reduced financial cost to the user as well as to society at large (negligible damage to roads, less road area required).
Cycling suffers from a perception that it is unsafe. In the UK, fatality rates per mile or kilometre are slightly less than those for walking. In the US, bicycling fatality rates are less than 2/3 of those walking the same distance. However, in the UK for example the fatality and serious injury rates per hour of travel are just over double for cycling than those for walking.
Thus if a person is, for example, about to undertake a ten kilometre journey to a given destination it may on average be safer to undertake this journey by bicycle than on foot. However, if a person is intending, for example, to undertake an hour’s exercise it is likely to be considerably more dangerous to take that exercise by cycling rather than by walking.
(It should be noted that calculated fatality rates based on distance for bicycling (as well as for walking) can have an exceptionally large margin of error, since there are generally no annual registrations or odometers required for bicycles, and this means the distance traveled must be estimated).
Despite the risk factors associated with bicycling, cyclists have a lower overall mortality rate when compared to other groups. A Danish study in 2000 found that even after adjustment for other risk factors, including leisure time physical activity, those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality rate than those who did.
- Wearing the right cycling clothes can provide protection against accidental injury and make the ride more comfortable.
- Cycling clothes are designed to help wick away sweat andmake you more visible on the road.
Wearing a helmet will do absolutely nothing to prevent you from getting hit by a car. Sure, helmets might help you if you get hit, but #1 goal should be to avoid getting hit in the first place. A head injury can mean brain injury. That’s why it’s so important to wear your bike helmet. Wearing one doesn’t mean you can be reckless, but a helmet will provide some protection for your face, head, and brain in case you fall down. About 70% of series cycling injuries are injuries to the head. So always wear a helmet!
- Choose a helmet that fits your head shapeand is as snug as possible.
- The securing strap should be set behind the ear and the buckle fixed at the throat position.
- The helmet visor should be level with your eyebrows. Also, make sure to pull your bangs back so they don’t obstruct your line of sight.
Maintain appropriate stopping distance
Use cadence braking. Do not hold the brakes down too long or the brake pads could overheat, reducing braking force and increasing the chance of an accident.
Correct Riding Concepts
1. Cycling requires sufficient calories so don’t wait until you are hungry to eat.
2. Rehydrate frequently: Don’t just wait until you feel thirsty.
3. It is advisable to rest and relax every 15 to 20 kilometers.
4. To prevent cramps, consume foods or liquids with sodium and potassium (such as bananas).
5. Remember to put on sunburn protection.
6. Don’t litter
Ride security guidelines
1. Concentrate when you ride.
2. Do warm-up exercises (gradually building up) to prevent sports injuries.
3. Respect right-of-way: Keep to the side of the road when riding.
4. Be aware of cars approaching from behind and cars parked on the roadside.
5. Clearly indicate when you are going to make a turnor changelanes.
6. Keep about 30~40% of your attention in frontand 60~70% behind
7. Be aware of unevenness on asphalt roads.
Also read Cycling safety advice
The video shows cyclists acting as drivers of vehicles making normal vehicular maneuvers including lane control, lane sharing, left and right turns, through movements and a freeway ramp crossing. This video is intended to show cyclists and motorists how it looks when cyclists act and are treated as vehicle drivers in normal urban traffic in the City of Long Beach, California.