Great Cycling Safety Tips
I've cycled at least a thousand miles in the areas around the House without a mishap. There are lots of cyclists in the area so drivers are used to seeing people on bikes. However, drivers can have visual impairment, and distractions such as texting. Here are some tips I've developed after 20 years of riding
1. Assume every driver is a crazy person who wants to hit you.
2. Always ride with a headlight and a tail light. Yes even during the day! Make sure they are super-bright. Flashing lights are more noticeable and extend battery life.
Don't even think of going out without lights.
A driver with poor vision can easily fail to see a rider with dark clothing.
"A driver who can't see a bright flashing light right in front of them will have already crashed."
Many lights are USB rechargeable, which is great.
I use these rechargeable lights. They are incredibly bright.
3. Use a rearview mirror like this. It takes a little effort to get it adjusted. I adjust it so that the 11:00 spot on the mirror is pretty close to the 11:00 spot on my left glasses lens Keep an eye on cars behind you; if they aren't moving out to give you room, start looking for a safe place to bail out. Assume every driver is distracted.
Or add this for extra safety Rear view radar, Garmin Varia. People who use it swear by it
4. Wear High viz clothing like this. Dark clothing on a bike is stupid beyond description!!!. Don't even think of doing it
5. Select your routes carefully. Narrow roads, guard rails, and fast roads are bad. Parked cars are bad, doors can suddenly open.
6. Let your family track you with apps like Strava. Don't hug the curb, especially on blind curves or hill crests. This only invites the "squeeze play," and puts you dangerously close to the road edge
8. Go slow downhill. Take downhill blind corners slowly. Cars frequently swing wide on these turnsDon't cut the corners and always be on guard for tightening radius turns.
9. If people are riding behind you, keep straight and steady; assume that they have drifted too close and their wheel may be overlapping yours. Announce stops, road hazards, with voice and hand signals. If you see a car coming up from behind yell "Car back."
10. Always wear a Helmet and Gloves. Why gloves? If you fall, you will likely put your hand down to break your fall. This will drive gravel and dirt into the palm of your hand which can be very difficult and painful to remove. I never ride without both gloves and helmet
11. Walk your bike across RR tracks.
"The slightest bit of grease or water turns a RR track into super slick rail that will slam you down before you know what happened."
It is not just a little skid that you can recover from. It is also very easy to get your wheel wedged in line with the track. It is possible to ride across them at a perfect right angle, or hop your wheels over them, but the penalty for failure is stupidly high.