If more and more cyclists, vehicles, and pedestrians are going to coexist, we must fulfill our part of the bargain: here are the most important tips to ride safely while pedaling through your city.
How to know how to circulate safely in the city
The growth of the bicycle in urban environments has followed a very sharp upward curve in recent years. Bicycles are gaining a lot of ground in cities and it is increasingly common to find them in sections where it was previously unthinkable or to see urban actions that prioritize their presence.
But the cyclists themselves, how can they feel safer while riding through the city? Is there a way to take all possible precautions and avoid possible incidents of a cyclist in urban and interurban environments? Yes, there are tips and how to give advice is free, we have looked for the best.
These tips are not only based on our personal experience but also various studies done on the matter and even on a guide of advice that Harvard University itself carried out a few years ago, based on its scientific analysis.
Beware of cars, even if they are parked
Cars are not only dangerous in motion. Also parked annually cause thousands of accidents. How? Very easy, opening your doors to get off without first checking the rear-view mirror if a bicycle is approaching. Therefore, be careful, and keep a safe distance from parked cars whenever possible. Also, if you see a car park, be alert because the foreseeable thing is that it will open its door to get out.
Respect all traffic regulations as if you were a car
It is one of the arguments that anti-bicycles use the most to prosecute us: that many do not respect the traffic rules. And, although they are a minority, indeed, some cyclists do not. And it is essential to do so, not only for the image but for security. The signs are there for something. Unless you are walking, if you go in any vehicle, bicycle included, you must respect all traffic signs and regulations. Traffic lights, signals, and prohibitions.
Position yourself well concerning vehicle maneuvers
It is also very common for cyclists to behave like motorcycles, getting between several vehicles or not controlling the blind spots of the other vehicles. Of course, it does not matter if you are not responsible for an accident, what matters is that the worst part will be borne by you. So control those blind spots and avoid moving between vehicles on multi-lane sections.
Don't skimp on your visibility
Reflective clothing, reflective vest, front and rear lights, and anything that makes you more visible to third parties are always welcome. Keep it in mind, it is about seeing but above all about being seen. Oftentimes, many drivers recognize that they do not see the presence of a bicyclist until they are very close. To avoid this risk, choose good cycling lights.
The helmet, always on the head and well adjusted
The helmet can save your life. Literally. So always wear a helmet and learn how to fit it correctly. There is no use wearing a poorly fitted helmet that comes out into the air and does not protect you from an impact. For this reason, for our part, we recommend helmets with internal mesh and with micrometric adjustment systems. But either way, put on your helmet.
Learn to communicate your movements
A cyclist moves through the city like any other vehicle but does not have the same ability to notify these movements. In other words, a bike does not have indicators, so our arms and our gestures do that function. Do you know how to say that you are going to turn to one side or the other? Do you know how to tell the car behind you that you are going to stop? Well, it is important to know and apply it. Communicate, make it easy for the rest.
We are not going to extend ourselves here: forget about wearing helmets in town. You should forget about yourself in general in any context, but even more so in the city. Because the sound of the city tells you many things, so pay attention. With headphones, you cannot hear a horn, a brake, an acceleration, or a beep from a traffic light, for example. Do not dispense with a sense as important as that of hearing.