Naturally, there are a lot of dangers on the road, whether you are riding a bicycle, car, or bus. So, it is wise to always take safety precautions. Here are some bike commuting tips for beginners.
1. Learn how to use hand signals for bicyclists. To turn left, stretch your left hand outwards. To turn right, make a square with your left hand pointing upwards. To stop, make a square with your left hand pointing downwards or simply stretch your left hand pointing to the ground.
2. Make eye-to-eye contact. Looking straight into the eye of other riders or drivers will help you communicate your moves well. Do this along with the appropriate hand signal.
3. Use a warning device. If for whatever reason you cannot use hand signals or make eye-to-eye contact, use your bell, horn, or any warning device you’ve installed on your bike.
4. Ride defensively. When you encounter an aggressive driver, it is best to keep your cool. Try not to be aggressive on the road as well. Since you are riding the smallest, slowest, and therefore the most vulnerable machine on the road, just yield to avoid further hassles or fatal injuries. Try your very best to stay away from trouble and just ignore the mad driver. Remember, being safe is more important than your pride.
5. Know and abide by the rules. Be aware and follow traffic signs, lights, and rules and regulations on the road. You will be safer if you do.
6. Be visible at all times. This is specially vital if you are commuting at night. Make sure you have a light installed on your bike with 10 watts or more. The standard front light is white that’s visible from 300 feet. Your rear should have a red reflector visible at 500 feet. There should be reflectors on your helmet, as well. Your pedals should have yellow reflectors visible at 200 feet. It is also best to wear neon colored top or jacket.
7. Stay away from parked cars. When you ride along parked cars, try to keep a 3-feet distance from them to avoid being hit by a car door that suddenly opens.
8. Ride the right bike. Some injuries involving bike commuting is mainly caused by the bicycle itself. Every part should be of good quality and in good condition before you hit the road. This is very important. So consider getting a high quality and sturdy bicycle for you to have a safe and enjoyable ride every time.