Who knew that a global pandemic would be such a boon for bike sales. It’s great for the sport and great for new cyclists to experience the joys of cycling. Here are a few cycling safety tips for new cyclist.
Cycling Safety – Rules of the Road
Follow the rules of the road, just like other vehicles, and obey traffic signs and signals. Ride with traffic, and in the United States, that is the right-hand side of the road.
One of the most important parts about riding in traffic and around other cyclists is to BE PREDICTABLE. Erratic behavior makes it hard for others to ride or drive around you. Don’t be “that guy” who cuts across two lanes of traffic and pulls in front of a cement truck right before a stop sign.
When riding in a group, call out debris or hazards in the road. Signal when turning and stopping.
Be a defensive cyclist. Stay alert and stay safe. In intersections, look both ways and look again. Make eye contact with drivers in intersections.
Bicycles (except postal and police bicycles) are not legal on sidewalks in many cities. In general, stay on the road in designated bike lanes.
On a few occasions, I have ridden on a short section of sidewalk next to very busy roads that don’t have a bike. I would rather get a ticket than being hit by a distracted driver. It is up to you, as always, stay safe and err on the side of caution.
Cycling Safety Equipment
Many new riders look for a used bike or are gifted a bike. In this situation, it is best to take the bike to a local shop to get a full once over to make sure the bike is in good working order.
Bikes come in different sizes. A bike good bike fit will keep your neck, back, and knees happy. At the bare minimum, make sure you look up how to adjust your bike to fit you. A better option is to get a professional bike fit at a bike shop or
Riding downhill at 20+ miles per hour with an equipment malfunction can lead to an ambulance ride, many broken bones, and expensive hospital bills. Worst of all, it can break your bike.
Cycling Safety Accessories
If you want to get super fancy, the TEENTOK Bike Light has a Wifi Camera with the light.
Like any vehicle, it must be maintained to stay in good working order.
Inspect the tires and tire pressure before every ride. Add air if needed before each. Make sure you know what a safe PSI is for your bike and your riding conditions.
A clean bike is a safe and fast bike. Clean your bike regularly, at least once a month, or right after riding in muddy or rainy conditions.
Oil the bike chain about every 50 miles and after a cleaning. When oiling the chain, make sure you wipe of the excess and inspect the chain for wear and tear.
A bike needs a tune-up about twice a year.
Cycling Safety – What to Wear
There are two types of cyclists, those who have fallen and those who will fall. It is just a matter of time. Wear a helmet and protect your head.
Always wear a helmet, even on short trips. Even when no one else is.
Gloves make gripping the handle bars more comfortable and protect your hands on the handlebars and from a spill if you fall.
Cycling shorts with a padded chamois make long rides more comfortable. Just in no one tells you. Do not wear underwear under cycling shorts. After long rides, change your clothes as soon as possible to avoid getting saddle sores.
Cycling jerseys with pockets in the back are handy but not necessary for long rides.
Cycling Safety Skills
“It’s just like riding a bike” they said. Super easy once you get the hang of it.
This may be true for getting the basics down, but not so true someone who wants to ride confidently and safely on the road.
In a skills clinic, you will learn how about balance and weight distribution on the bike. How to get a drink out of your water bottle while riding, how to make emergency stops, how to look behind you while holding our line, how to steer, how to avoid hazards, and how to ride in a group.
We will be offering Road Bike Skills Clinic 101 in January 2020. Contact us to be notified the details of the next class.
Cycling Safety Locations
Pick known routes that have bike lanes and light traffic. Join a cycling club, triathlon club, or bike team. Experienced riders tend to ride in safe locations to ride
Online Bike Route Resources
Local Resources – find a club near you
Charity Cycling Groups
There are some well known charities that support safe cycling. Check them out or find one that supports your favorite cause.
- American Diabetes Association – Tour de Cure
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Team In Training
- Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Bike MS
Ride With Me
We ride with the following groups in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Come ride with me. Check out our events.
We ride with the following groups.
Need Help Getting Started
We understand if you are nervous to get started. We offer coaching, clinics, and group training sessions. Contact us for more information.