The city is an area where we live and work, nowadays, it also becomes a fairly popular place for cyclists to do the cycling. As we all know, with the development of technology and economy, there are more and more cars and all kinds of large transportation tool appearing in the city. So it is very crowded in the big cities, and the pollution caused by the waste gas of the cars getting worse. Then people in the city start to ride bicycles again. They may cycle for the exercise, work, school, happiness or competition. Cycling is convenient and helpful for people who live or work in the urban areas.
However, cycling in the city still exists a lot of known or potential dangers. If you are not carefully enough when you are cycling, you might get hurt, or even damage your valued life. So, how to avoid getting hit by a car in the city? Definitely, it is a very important thing. Here I would like to introduce 15 safety techniques for cycling in the urban area.
There are so many different kinds of cars in the city, especially during the traffic jam, it is so chaos in the intersections. Cars, trucks, buses, pedestrians come from all directions, if you are distracted in your cycling, you may hit someone or hit by someone. Watch out for large vehicles; yield to buses, garbage trucks, etc., because they won't see you and will shove you out of your lane. Try to figure out if a bus at a bus stop is about to pull out or if it's safe to pass. Be vigilant about looking and listening, identifying threats, locking on them until they pass. Ignore distractions that pose no threat to you.
2.Maximize your visibility
Nowadays, traffic lights, signals, and zebra crossing are very common on the roads. As a cyclist who rides on the road, these important signs you have to catch and do the right reactions. And you should also use your eyes to focus on the road in front of you and find out the obstacles, pedestrians or little animals on your way, and then avoid to hit them. Keep an eye out for cars parked on the side of the street opening their doors randomly. Look out for cars parked on the side of the street starting up and about to merge into traffic. Your eyes cannot only make you enjoy the beautiful scenery aside from the road but also guarantee your safety.
3.Following the road rules
Slow down/stop for stop signs, and stop for stoplights. To be safe, pause at every intersection to make sure there are no cars before continuing. Slow down when you are going downhill.Signal your turns. Watch for and yield to pedestrians. Move into the lane and take up a spot while waiting for lights or on narrow streets. All of these things make your more visible and predictable to other road users. The effort of getting back up to speed is good exercise, and you won't be encouraging other road users to flout the rules and you should drive in the bike lane.
Usually, when you are cycling, you should learn to observe the things happen around you, judge them quickly, and react properly and immediately. If you see a parked car with someone in the driver's seat then one of two things will happen. The door will open or the car will pull out. Look at the park cars and be aware of occupants. Beware of bad roads: cracks or indents in the street can easily displace thin road bike wheels, also streetcar tracks or other things in the road if that is applicable to you. When you see them the far way, you need to change your planned route, and keep that in mind, if you pass that way next time you can do a prediction before.
If there are any cars around, even if they are slowing down, you can always look right at the driver as you entering the intersection, and maintain eye contact while crossing. It is a kind of polite behavior. Besides, smiling is also needed, which can show your kindness to the drivers or the pedestrians. So that people are more willing to give their ways to you. Don’t assume you are some kind of victim that needs to assert their rights with aggression. This helps no one and might get you seriously hurt. Behave as if you are part of the traffic. If you can’t keep up a reasonable pace take a slower route.
6.Assuming people cannot see you
You should assume that they don't see you and ride very defensively. The most of the dangerous encounters involve either driver pulling in/out of parking spots into traffic or drivers turning. If I'm moving up the right faster than a line of traffic, I have to be prepared for someone to swerve into the bike lane and cut me off in preparation for a right turn. Assume that the drivers are out to get you, that your tire is going to explode when you hit that next pothole, that your brakes won't work when you get to the light, etc. You cannot depend on others eyes, you need to prepare yourself well under the condition of other people do not see you.
7.Keep a map in your mind.
Before you start your urban cycling trip, it is necessary to master a general map of the roads in the city. Figure out which road is good or flat to cycle, which one is in poor road condition or under construction, which one is wide, and which one is narrow. It is better to plan your route so you will feel comfortable with the roads, the traffic load, and the possible problems along the way. It can help you have a good understanding of the road condition, and then you can enjoy a smooth cycling trip.
8.Dress in the bright colors and wear a hamlet.
Nowadays, people have a higher and higher demand the cycling, so as well as the equipment of it. It is not only concerned with the specialty and comfort of cycling but also related to the safety of the riders. For example, dress in bright color may help people notice you in the darkness or foggy days so that you are safer during your cycling. And wearing a hamlet can prevent your head from getting hurt when you fall down or something.
9.Using the reflective stickers
Reflective stickers are fairly useful and common for cyclists during their cycling. You just need to pay about ten dollars, and there are enough here to put a bunch on your helmet, as well as some on your bike. You can put them on both, they could work really well. If you load them up on your helmet, as your head will more often be at the level of cars headlights, especially with all the giant SUV's and trucks on the road nowadays. So the other divers will find you quicker at night.
10.Check your bike
When you getting on your bike, your life, your everything is on the bike. So you have to check your bike carefully before you before. From the handlebars, brakes, gears, to the seat position, tires, every important detail you need to confirm. As we all know, in the fast traffic, any small error happen on your bike may hurt you or even kill you. No matter you want you to start a short cycling in the city or a long one on the mountain.
11.Use a rear view mirror
Cyclists are strongly recommended riding with a mirror. Use a rear view mirror, which allows you to be aware of your surroundings without turning around and wobbling. Using a mirror also helps most riders get over the fear of being hit from behind. Once you get used to riding with a mirror you will wonder how you ever survived without one. In fast traffic, this is a lifesaver.
12.Get a headlight and taillight
Obviously, lights are important, and while you should not save your money on a headlight and on a taillight, this is not the places to skimp and be cheap. Sure, in a very low price or so you can pick up a two-pack of those little blinky lights, but they are practically useless. It is really worth the money to get some decent lights, and in my experience, for less than $100 you can get a solid front and back light. These two setting are concerning a lot with your safety, especially in the city cycling.
13.Wave or shout
Cycling in the city, sometimes you cannot be seen by other drivers. So you require to waving your hands of shout when you ride. It is a way to make sure cars know you are there, let other cyclists know if you are passing them, particularly in tight quarters. This can be done with a bell or even just a friendly shout. Sometimes a loud "HEY!" has literally saved you.
14.Don't stop in the blind spot
In the city, there are many blind spots where often occur traffic accidents, like at a corner, behind a building or big obstacles on the road and some others. In those places should never to stop your bike where you never know what will happen in the next few seconds. Before you stop your bike, you need to think about that if it is safe for you to stop there.
15.Slow down in certain places
Enjoying the speed that comes with cycling is one of our purposes to do that. And cycling fast in the city will especially bring us an exciting and special feeling, however, there are many places in the city need us to slow down such as in front of the school, zebra crossings, intersections and so on. It is for your security so as well others.
Anyway, cycling in the city has become more and more popular now. And the cycling safety techniques also attract people’s great attention. If you want to cycle safely in the city, you require to reading these tips above.