One of the most important aspects of road cycling is to keep safe, especially in Australia, the car/ bike war, unfortunately, continues with no end in sight. There are a few important precautions you can take in order to keep safe out on the road.
- Visibility & standing out.
It is important when you’re road riding, whether that be training, commuting, or going out for a café stroll, you always want to be visible. Considering most cyclists ride early in the morning or later at night in the darkness, means you require greater visibility. Increasing your visibility will enhance your chance of being seen from a further distance on the road.
Here are five steps you can take to help this.
- Reflective clothing & accessories
- Front light
- Rear red light
- Reflective strips on bike or helmet
- Avoid wearing darker colours
- Don’t ride without lights in dark conditions!
Don’t do it!
- Being aware of how car drivers react in different situations.
This can be a tricky one as it is hard for a non-experienced rider to know how to react if a car decides to act out on their anger or stupidity. This special sixth sense that more experienced riders, racers, and seasoned riders have, allows them to pre-empt a dangerous situation. This sixth sense comes from experience and thousands of hours of racing and training on busy, dangerous car infested roads.
To stay clear of trouble you need to be aware of everything around you, vision and hearing are the main senses that help to react quickly on a bike. Keep your eyes open and occasionally look around on the bike, without getting distracted. Always listen to the surrounding sounds as you will generally hear if a fast car or motorbike is coming your way.
- Ride popular routes!
Riding popular routes ensures that you are mixed among other riders. Cars will be expecting cyclists and if something does go pear-shaped, you have plenty of help around you!
Road safety is very important for all cyclists, especially beginners. Always prioritize your safety on the road over a Strava segment or your speed.