A bicycle is a perfect way to commute in crowded cities especially during peak hours when you might as well take a nap in your car on the way home from work.
Not only is bicycle commuting environmentally friendly, hassle free, and gasoline free, it also incorporates a great workout into your everyday commute!
For a newbie, commuting by bicycle in busy streets can seem overwhelming or just downright dangerous, but avid commuters will tell you it’s the best way to nip out to fulfill your daily commitments especially if you live in a crowded city like London or New York.
That said, there are a few things that must be kept in mind to ensure that your daily commute is not only comfortable and hassle free but also safe.
Maintain your Machine
Just like you would for your car or motorbike, it is important to take care of your bicycle and ensure that all of the individual components are in working condition. This can include oiling and cleaning the chain, checking the air pressure in the tires, and performing a brake check before setting off.
Also it would be wise to check the tread of your tires to ensure you have enough tread and rubber for optimum road grip since your tires are the only two points of contact between the bike and the road. Additionally, in extreme weather conditions or during winter, ensure that you install snow tires on the bicycle to avoid any mishaps along the way.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you plan to ride your bicycle daily for commuting and haven’t been riding for some time, it would be wise to practice some back to school basics to ensure you are comfortable and confident in your abilities.
It’s best to choose a deserted neighborhood or parking lot to practice balance, braking and simulating a normal commute. Practicing before actually commuting using a bicycle can help avoid first timers’ nerves and anxieties ensuring a smooth journey later on.
Ensure Maximum Road Visibility
One of the most important safety precautions a bicyclist can take ids to ensure that their bike is visible to other motorists on streets and highways. Since the difference in velocity between a car and a bike can be pretty big, it is important that other motorists are aware of the presence of the bike to avoid any physical contact.
Using reflective surfaces, high visibility jackets or tail lights can help make you more noticeable on the road, especially at night when it’s particularly difficult to spot a vehicle without lights or reflectors.
Don’t skip on the Safety Gear
The use of safety gear can be vital for a motorist, whether its seatbelts, helmets or gloves to help keep you warm in gusty windy conditions. The use of safety gear for riders is mandatory in most countries which is important since it is very easy to experience a fall resulting in serious injuries.
The use of safety gear not only minimizes the risk of injuries, it also protects your vital organs like the brain from potentially life-threatening accidents.
Adhere to Motoring Rules
It is important when piloting a vehicle on the road to not only be aware of traffic rules but also adhere to those rules to avoid any unpleasant experiences. Rules and regulations are there for a reason, and when it comes to traffic rules, they are in place to ensure the safety and security of the motorists and pedestrians.
Cycling rules can vary from city to city and country to country, especially when it comes to traffic lights and stop signs, which is why it is important to be acutely aware of your local traffic rules.
Have a Blast
Even though it is vital to take precautions when cycling, it is equally important to have fun and enjoy your ride. Cycling should be a relaxed, fun and healthy experience and the wind blowing in your hair should be an experience to remember.
It is important to note that cycling is much more than a healthy and sustainable transportation but also one of the reasons you can look forward to commuting to and from work every day.