Tips ensure safe bike riding

2015-04-30 17:01

BEING on a bicycle is a wonderfully free feeling and your two-wheeled chariot can take you on many thrilling adventures.

It is crucial to take care, however, especially if you are driving in traffic, or in low-light conditions.

If you are a beginner, start with these basic safety guidelines.

Safety tips for beginners

) Feed and water your trusty steed.

A bike that is in great working order is a must so that nothing will fail or fall off when you are heading down that killer hill.

Like any vehicle, a bicycle needs to be serviced properly before you embark on any major challenge, or when parts start to get worn.

) Rules are rules.

Be an expert on the road rules affecting cyclists, and obey them to the letter. Taking chances by nipping through gaps or holding onto vehicles on the uphills is – obviously – dangerous.

Start by familiarising yourself with the Cycling Rules of the Road and Road Safety from Arrive Alive.

) Dress to be seen.

When you are on your bike, it is not the time to blend into the landscape. Go lumo, with reflective panels and lights.

In reduced visibility you will greatly increase your chance of being seen if you have lights on the front (white) and back (red). Even in daylight, lights have been shown to reduce visibility-related accidents by as much as 30%, according to Arrive Alive.

) Find some cycle buddies.

Cycling in a group makes you more visible, and it is also a good way to prepare for being in a pack when you are racing.

Be careful to stay in single file so you do not expose yourself to cars that drive too close.

) Keep friends and family informed of your plans.

If you are on a long ride, leave a map or notes of your planned route so people know where to look for you in an emergency.

) These safety tips were prepared by Santam.

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