Now that you have decided to cycle all the way to health and glory, let us also look at some of the important tips that you need to be aware as a rider so it is a happy riding every time for you and everyone. We look at some important safety tips across leisure riders, commuters and adventure bikers.
Wear a helmet at all times
Wearing a helmet is a sign that you are a responsible rider, any time of the day, please make sure you are wearing your helmet. It’s not the law actually, it is safe that’s the key. It also helps you buy a good one that meets the requirement and fits in snug on your head. Check out yourself before closing on one, because your being at leisure is very important that you have a free and safe head.
If you are taking to the hills or mountains, be sure to wear the gloves, knee pads in the event of fall, this will see you through with minor bruises.
Pro tip: Add cycling sunglasses to this list, will help you protect from bugs, stones, sun and rain.
Cleaning & Oiling
Given the climate has its effect on the chains, it would be better to oil the chains regularly or at least a day before you are going to take out the cycle. Ideally no one would love the creaking sound that chain gives when you are cycling. That’s a minor distraction that you would want to avoid.
Keep the cycle clean, it helps you see the wear and tear if any when you do the cleaning.
Know the traffic
Always anticipate the way traffic will be on the road that you have decided to take, take precautions in terms of traffic diversions or traffic jams, with knowledge you will be more confident on the road.
You have the right to the road and exercise them with caution without causing any problem to the other users.
Pro tip: Check Google map for traffic updates and use riding app to keep track.
The Puncture Kit
As with everything else there is a necessary evil, yeah, we know, keep a puncture kit handy and you never know when you are going to use them. But for all you know the kit would be god send on those ill-fated days and also get to know how to use them efficiently. It helps you get back on road easily.
Pro tip: It helps to know how to pin up a broken chain, snap it up and get back home riding or walk all the way.
Always be on the right speed
Being on the right speed helps you and everyone on the road, use signage and hand signalling wherever necessary. The speed is the one which is for the adventure bikers on road, be at optimum pace, you aren’t running a race.
If you are an early starter, please keep yourself on the move and pace up in phases. Be mindful of lanes and pedestrians on the road.
One step at a time
This is a bit psychological, in a way, increase distances and speed in a step by step manner. Take time to get used to the roads, the traffic and people as you start off. It should not be that you take a big bite not able to chew. This is because it affects you mentally and physically could be tiring. The physical strain could be little high if you go that extra mile without getting prepared over long run.
Going in a group
It helps being in a group with adventure bikers, you get to learn and unlearn a lot with the bikers around. It gets you on the habit and makes you confident, and it helps to be a part of the group and you could change positions and keep pace and do things together. Take professional advice if you are keen to take up long distances. Don’t go by your gut feel. Prepare mentally and physically for such tasks.
Above are some of the basics for beginners, and it applies to everyone, but then as you go full throttle these will see you in good stead, of course you will get to learn a lot on maintenance and other things which happens during short stints to help you during your long distances.
Will come back with more, till then happy and safe cycling!