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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 06:53

5 safety tips for new riders

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new riderPerhaps the increasing popularity of cycling is making you think about going out to buy your first bike.

Unless you take it seriously it can also be dangerous. Before you take to the road for the first time, have some lessons or at least look at this guide for cars and bikes on the road. Below are five other tips that is happy to share with you.

Don’t buy more than you can handle.

Whatever you intend to use it for, on road, off road, commuting etc. make sure you buy the right bike for you. Don’t hand over your hard earned cash unless the bike fits you and you can adjust saddle height and position and handlebar height and reach. This is why it is important to go to a reputable dealer who will talk to you about your needs and let you try some bikes out.

Invest in anti-lock brakes.

As a new cyclist, there will be times you need to stop suddenly. This could be because someone has run out in front of you; there is ice on the road, excess surface water or another vehicle pulling out in front of you. Anti-lock brakes will help you retain control of your bike in difficult surfaces and improve your ability to bring it to a halt safely. Anti-lock brakes guard against skidding and new bike riders, more than any other cyclists, need as much power to stop safely and avoid potentially serious accidents. Anti-lock brakes will provide the power you need.

Use your head.

Be prepared. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your bike in a retail park car lot when the stores are closed. Practice getting on and off your bike and bringing it to a stop. Look at the traffic regulations and keep to the rules. Dress appropriately, make sure footwear fits the pedals and is conducive to cycling and don’t wear things that are likely to snag in the mechanism. Give serious consideration to wearing a suitable safety helmet. Don’t forget the accessories you might need, such as a pump, bell or hooter, lights and reflectors, especially if you are going to be out in the dark.

Avoid bad weather.

Cycling and bad weather do not go well together. Excess water on the road can cause aquaplaning and ice is extremely slippery, both of which can bring a cyclist off their bike. You don’t really want to test your anti-lock brakes on a sheet of ice do you? I wouldn’t advise it. Similarly, don’t go cycling in high winds, you might get blown off or equally as bad or worse, something blown on to you.

Watch for road hazards.

Avoid bike riding hazards at all costs. There are so many potential hazards that it is really important to keep focused on the road. Few roads are so well-maintained that they have no pot holes, these can be bad enough empty but when they fill with water you can’t tell how deep they are. Wet leaves also constitute a habit that can cause skidding and generally obscure the road surface. Avoid road features, such as manhole covers and traffic markings. Stay alert and if you spot something you don’t like the look of avoid it.

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 21:02
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