How-To: 10 Smart Rules to Bike Safety

safe riding

This post is from “across the pond” on the London Cyclist Blog, but has very good info for cycling here in Toronto too.

Also, I had no idea that curb was spelled “kerb” in Britain. Interesting.

Have you ever heard any of the below advice that is frequently thrown around:

Wear high-vis
Wear a helmet
Wear appropriate clothing
Typically, this will come from a journalist writing for a car publication or someone with a deadline, and not enough time to really research what cyclists can do to stay safe.

There’s nothing technically wrong with the above advice. However, it completely ignores the important road positioning techniques, taught by cycle safety experts in one on one classes. These techniques I believe can really make a difference on your next bike ride.

1. Protect Your Head Wear a helmet.

2. Stay Visible

If drivers can see you, they are less likely to hit you. Use lights when biking at night or in low-light conditions.

3. Look, Signal & Look Again

Use hand signals to let drivers and other bicyclists know where you’re going. Look and make eye contact. Don’t assume drivers will stop.

4. Stay Alert

Keep a lookout for obstacles in your path.

5. Obey all Traffic Laws & Lights

6. Assure Bicycle Readiness

Is your bicycle properly adjusted? Is your saddle in a comfortable position?

7. Do a Quick Bicycle Test

Check your brakes and your wheels. Make sure that “quick release” wheels are properly secured.

8. Go with the Flow

Bike in the direction of traffic.

9. Act like a Car

Drivers are used to the patterns of other drivers. Don’t weave in and out of traffic. The more predictably you ride, the safer you are. Check for traffic. Be aware of traffic around you.

10. Don’t Get Distracted

Don’t listen to music or talk on the phone while riding.