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This article was published on October 22nd, 2020
The number of people that have taken up cycling has grown considerably during the pandemic, however, whilst many may be able to cycle, they may not be used to cycling and may need to learn more about cycling safety.
Getting used to cycling in areas with traffic, pedestrians and other hazards can take time and requires experience, something beginner cyclists have yet to gain.
However, as winter approaches and traffic gets back to more normal levels, it’s essential cyclists know how to remain safe.
In this blog post, our specialist cycle accident solicitors share their top cycling safety tips for beginners, that will help you get through the winter and beyond safely.
You’ve seen your perfect bike in the showroom and you’ve parted with your hard-earned money and purchased it. The mistake that many people make is to hop on their bike and ride off at full speed.
To remain as safe as possible and ultimately give yourself the best cycling experience, you should ensure you have a bike fit.
Ensuring your seat is in the right place and you are able to comfortably reach the pedals and handlebars is key.
Whether your planning on a short ride or you aim to commute to work daily using your bike, a poorly fitted bike can be uncomfortable and prolonged use can result in an injury.
Likewise, a bike that doesn’t fit properly can be more difficult to control, which in itself poses a host of safety issues, particularly when you are cycling in an urban environment.
If you have already purchased your bike, then you can always seek the advice of a professional at a local cycle shop who will usually be able to help you find your perfect riding position.
At some point during your time as a cyclist, it’s inevitable that you will have a puncture whilst out on a ride. From wayward screws or nails to broken glass or even a thorny twig, there are a myriad of reasons you might suffer a puncture, but as the scouts say, always be prepared.
Nothing ruins a cycling session quite like a hole in your tyre and continuing to ride on a compromised tyre could spell disaster, endangering both you and other road users.
A tyre puncture repair kit is an essential piece of equipment that every cyclist should own, whether they’ve been cycling for years or days.
If you have your heart set on a bike, we recommend you always buy your helmet first. It’s an essential piece of equipment that has the potential to save your life.
A helmet can reduce the risk of a fatal head injury by 65% and reduce the chance of suffering a life-changing head injury by 70% according to Headway – the brain injury association.
There are a few basic techniques that can help you improve your cycling safety. Firstly you should practice getting used to cycling using one hand.
When you are cycling on the road, one of the best ways to help you stay safe is to be predictable in the eyes of other road users and using hand signals is one of the best ways to show your intentions on the road.
Outstretching your left or right arm to indicate the direction you want to turn will ensure both following and oncoming vehicles can give you time and space to complete your manoeuvre.
Build up your confidence
This can sometimes be easier said than done, however building your confidence on your bike can help with staying safe on the road.
Don’t assume that you have to hug the curb when you’re cycling, have the confidence to stay around a metre from the edge of the pavement, this will give you enough room to manoeuvre around any obstacle that you might encounter such as a pothole or piece of debris on the side of the road.
If you’re looking to build your confidence as quickly as possible then you might want to consider riding with a cycling group.
The old adage that there is safety in numbers rings true with cycling and you can also pick up great safety tips from more experienced riders, just make sure you don’t pick up their bad habits too.
Now that you’re equipped with some essential cycling safety tips, get out there and practice your cycling. Staying safe should always be your priority, however, sometimes being involved in a cycling accident may be outside your control.
If you are injured in a cycling accident and believe the fault lay with the other party involved, then our expert cycling accident solicitors may be able to assist you in making a compensation claim.
We offer a no-obligation initial consultation to help assess the viability of your claim and to advise you on the steps you may need to take next.
If you’d like to arrange your free initial consultation, please call 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form by clicking here.