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Helpful Cycling Safety tips for the newbie cyclist or triathlete

Tips for Road Cycling Safety - Organic Runner Mom

Cycling Safety

As I log my miles on the road on my bike as I prepare for my half Ironman later this summer I have been thinking a lot about safety on the bike. It seems as though the number of car vs. bike accidents this year has been larger or perhaps its that I am more aware of it. This includes an accident between a bike and a car during the White Mountains Triathlon over the weekend (hopefully the rider will make a full recovery). Getting out n my bike is both freeing but a little scary at the same time. We are lucky to have gorgeous roads for riding with scenic vistas overlooking the Connecticut river and also of the White Mountains. However many of these roads are old winding roads with little or no shoulder. This means that when I am on my bike I am always on hyper alert about vehicles on the road.

What are some of the best ways to stay safe when you are cycling?

  • Make sure that your bike is tuned up and ready to ride. This includes your brakes!
  • Check your pedals and clips on your shoes to make sure that they are in proper working order.
  • Check your tire pressure before you head out on the road.
  • Wear bright colors.
  • Ride with a group. There is always safety in numbers.
  • Choose reflective clothing and use reflectors on your bike.
  • Using flashing lights at dusk. Red on your back!
  • Get a headlight for use if you are riding when it is dark.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Obey traffic laws and learn proper hand signals.
  • Ride at low traffic times or in low traffic areas
  • Bring a cell phone in case you run into trouble
  • Carry an ID

Do you have any other cycling safety tips to share? Do you get nervous about safety when you are out on your bike or out on a road run?

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44 responses

44 responses

  1. Confession… I don’t bike anymore. I’m too scared. After two friends almost died after they were hit by a semi truck and a neighbor did die after being hit by a car, I can’t do it. 🙁 I wish I lived somewhere rural so I would feel more confident. These tips are great and so important!

  2. Always assume that the driver doesn’t see you and ride accordingly. Defensive cycling. I was almost hit by a lady making a left turn in front of me. My husband, was almost killed twice in two weeks (!) by drivers who just didn’t see him. And we do ride carefully, wear bright colors, appropriate lighting, follow traffic laws, etc.

    Great tips though. It is scary out there. I’m lucky that I live in a relatively safe place to ride (in spite of the stuff above lol).
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…Perfect Pasta Salad for #MeatlessMondayMy Profile

  3. Ride predictably.
    When (I) come up behind you in my big old tow truck, don’t try to hug the curb to let me pass. When you get too close to the curb you will start to weave and become unpredictable. (I) will just have to wait until it’s safe to pass. Some drivers will get pissy, but that’s their problem. If you swerve in front of them, even accidentally, that’s your problem. Be safe.

  4. ahhh I am a TERRIFIED CYCLIST as well.But I need to fake it till I make it with the child 🙂
    Ill read her these too.

  5. Yes to Debbie’s tip – the driver never sees you. Cycling does make me super nervous. I’d love to ride more, but drivers make me so nervous. Scary thing – last week in CA we saw a guy riding his bike on the freeway. REALLY???? Now that’s scary!
    Angela @ happy fit mama recently posted…Saucony 26 Strong Photo ShootMy Profile

  6. great list! i just started riding on the road again, so this was a good refresher! 🙂 and yes yes YES YES YES always wear a helmet!!!!! i’m going to add this to my post of triathlon tips today!

  7. Great tips! I wish parents would do a better job teaching these things to their kids. Last week my husband encountered a family taking over a FULL car lane on a busy road in our city {aka not a neighborhood street}. It was rather frustrating!
    Maureen recently posted…Weekend SnapshotsMy Profile

  8. LOL! My greatest safety tip is to never mount up! To be honest, I am flat out terrified of real cycling, and even more so of cycling in a group. Everyone gets way too close and it freaks me out!
    Jenn recently posted…weekly report: 5.31 – 6.7My Profile

  9. Great reminders! I love cycling but gosh it’s crazy out there sometimes. I can’t even begin to imagine cycling at night.

  10. I live in an area where cyclist love to ride. There are so many close calls all the time. I’m used to looking out for bikers but so often big trucks use the road as a detour if there is traffic on the highway and they are not looking for bikers. Stay safe and enjoy the ride – these are fantastic tips! Oh and yes always wear a helmet!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Peach Blackberry Cobbler RecipeMy Profile

  11. Great tips! Sadly we live in an area where drivers are not runner/biker friendly. I can’t imagine being on the roads on a bike around here.

  12. Great tips.. Thanks for sharing such a informative article.. Cycling is a world full of joy and wonder. Riding along a path, road or trail can be an addictive, almost out-of-body experience, but a badly set up bike or the wrong clothing can make things a bit uncomfortable.
    ebikedelight recently posted…What Is the Best Fat Tire Electric Bike?My Profile

  13. I really like what you said about how safety comes first. My brother wants to get into riding bikes. Getting a really nice helmet could really help him.

  14. Excellent tips for a newbie bike rider. Professionals also follow the same safety rules but still, everyone should be careful and check everything is ok before going to a ride.

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