Safe Cycling Tips | Before You Cycle
Being safe begins even before you ride on the roads, and even before you get on your bicycle! Prior to setting off on a ride, always perform these checks to ensure that your bicycle is in optimal operating condition.
1. Ensure that both front and rear lights are working
Lights perform two roles – for you to see, and for you to be seen. Whether you ride in the day or at night, functioning lights are extremely important. A study conducted in 2013 showed that cyclists equipped with a daytime running light was significantly less likely to be involved in an accident, as other road users were able to better notice them.
2. Ensure that the tyres are properly inflated, and not bald
Proper tyre pressure lets your bicycle roll quickly, ride smoothly, and avoid punctures. Most bicycle tyres require 25-35 psi of inflation pressure, depending on your weight. As a rule of thumb, you should check your bicycle’s tyre inflation pressure on a monthly basis.
3. Ensure that the chain and brakes are functioning properly
The chain and brakes are one of the hardest-working components on a bicycle, being subject to pressure and tension on each ride. They’re also the most important components – you won’t get any movement without a chain, and you can’t effectively stop movement without brakes! Before setting off, always check that the chain has less than 25mm of play, and that the brake shoes are not excessively worn.
4. Adjust the handlebars properly
Many people experience discomfort during and after cycling, caused in part by poor positioning of the handlebars. This can cause stress-related discomfort in your wrists, arms, neck, and back, with long term side effects. Always ensure that your handlebars are at least as high as your seat, or even above it, so you can ride upright.