Image by TimothyJ
So you’ve finally decided to swap four wheels for two by setting out to work for the first time on your bicycle. But before you take the commuting plunge, you’ll want to check out these top tips to help you survive on those mean bus-filled streets.
If you already have a bike check that it is in good working order – don’t leave it till Monday morning to find out it’s falling apart or not roadworthy. If you want to buy a new bicycle there is no right or wrong choice – it’s entirely up to you. Look around and get a feel for the jargon and the different prices for different bikes online and in the high street. Ultimately buy a bike that’s going to be comfortable for you to ride and, once you’re used to it, start to look around as your experience will give you a better idea for a smoother experience. Speak to fellow cyclists as well.
Riding And Safety
Keep calm. Do not get stressed about what other people are doing in cars or around you. Better to take extra time and be slow and steady then race like you’re going for the Yellow Jersey in the Tour de France and end up in an accident.
Don’t worry about holding up traffic or feeling self-conscious. You have as much right to the road as anyone. Set yourself up well when stopping at traffic lights and always make yourself visible, use clear hand signals on corners.
Go clip-less if you expect to be stopping and starting a lot and wear sensible shoes with good grip. Also do not bother filtering in and out of traffic – this is more hassle than it’s worth and your blood pressure will thank you later.
Don’t try and look cool – you will be the most vulnerable person on the road. Make sure you have a high visibility, especially if you’re riding in dark a light front and back as well. Always wear a helmet and remember to stay safe. There’s a wide range of accessories available to you, so you’ll need to work out which is best for you and your bike. Get used to the basics first before splashing out the cash on a full professional cycling kit.
If you’re venturing out into uncharted territory, plan your route. You have the freedom to get where cars can’t but you will save yourself a lot of aggravation if you know where you are going. Maybe even take the time to practice your route before it gets busy in traffic. This will but down on your stress levels and help you keep an eye on the hazards at hand rather than wondering which turn you should be taking.
So be prepared , practice and enjoy plenty of safe cycling journeys (and all the money you will save!).
Have you got any other useful cycling survival advice? Share them in the comments below.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Michael Muttiah is a professional writer and fitness nut. When not chasing deadlines he loves circuit training and writing for All Terrain Cycles.