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Smart Tips for Safe City Cycling

Reports show that the number of cyclists across America is rising with every passing year, and many young people and young adults, in particular, are taking a more active interest in cycling as both a hobby and a method of personal transportation.

People are organizing more cycling vacations too and spending more time on bikes in big city areas, from New York to San Francisco, and many cities have even started up their own bike-share programs that allow locals and visitors to rent bikes and ride around easily and affordably.

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This can offer a lot of advantages, as cycling is a super form of travel in terms of physical benefits. It’s great as a kind of cardio exercise, boosting heart and respiratory health, as well as increasing stamina and helping to tone muscles too.

However, cycling in city environments especially can also be quite dangerous, and reports show that bicycle accidents are more likely to occur in cities and towns. With that in mind, here are some top tips to help you become a safer cyclist on your city travels.

Awareness Is Essential

Our first tip for safe city cycling might seem like an obvious one, but it’s still something that needs to be stated and repeated again and again so that cyclists really understand its importance: you have to be aware, alert, and attentive to your surroundings every single time you cycle in a big city, as threats and dangers can appear from out of nowhere.

Accidents can happen at any time. A pedestrian might step out into the road unexpectedly, for example, or a car might get too close to you and make a turn without any warning, known as left-hook or right-hook accidents. You can’t predict every possible scenario, but staying aware and alert will help you spot possible dangers and take evasive action before they develop into anything worse.

Invest in Helmets and Protective Accessories

Another key tip for safe cycling, both in cities and in other areas like rural environments and forest trails, is to make sure you’re equipped with all the necessary protective gear to reduce the risk of serious injuries. Helmets, for example, are absolutely essential for safe cycling, having been proven to save lives and minimize injuries.

It’s so important to get a good quality helmet, without any cracks or wear and tear, and make sure that it fits your head correctly. In addition, other protective accessories can also be of great importance, like gloves to improve your grip and pads on areas like the knees and shins to keep you safe if you fall from your bike.

Be Defensive

One of the first things every cyclist needs to learn when riding their bike in a city or urban environment is that some road users simply won’t treat you with the respect and care you deserve. Some car drivers, for example, will fail to keep their distance from bikes or not even notice them in their mirrors, which can be a leading cause of bike accidents.

It’s not fair or correct, but it’s the way things are, and this is why defensive cycling is so important. The term “defensive cycling” essentially refers to techniques and methods you can use to defend yourself against possible dangers. For example, keeping your distance, using hand signals, making yourself visible, not getting too close to the kerb, and so on.

Follow the Rules

Don’t forget that even though you’re on a bike, the rules of the road still apply to you whenever you’re cycling on the road itself. Some cyclists tend to bend the rules or feel that they can ignore certain signs and warnings, but this only usually causes issues and makes the chances of accidents even higher.

You have to follow the rules, just like you would on a motorbike or in a car. This means stopping at red lights and stop signs, following the information provided on road signs, staying off the pavement when riding your bike in most areas, and so on. If you break any of these rules or others, you can put yourself and others in danger.

Conclusion

Riding your bike in the city is an effective, eco-friendly, and healthy way to get around, and it’s great to make cycling a part of your regular routine, but don’t ever forget the risks of the road. Follow these tips and keep these techniques in mind when cycling in cities to keep yourself as safe as possible.

savvyglobetrotter

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