If you want to keep fit, save money, and help the environment, swapping your car for a bicycle on your way to work is an excellent method. Whatever your reasons for switching to pedal power, paying close attention to your safety when riding your bike to work will help ensure that you have a fulfilling and pleasant experience each day. If you have decided to start cycling to work, here’s everything that you need to know to get started.
Get the Right Insurance:
You wouldn’t drive your car on the roads without the right auto insurance policy, so don’t ride your bike without it either. It’s not just drivers that are at risk of collisions or theft, so make sure that you and your bike are financially protected with the right bicycle insurance policy. Velosurance offers bicycle insurance policies designed with cyclists in mind. It will ensure that you are covered financially in the event of a collision, theft, or if your bicycle causes damage to the property of another.
Making sure that you have the right safety equipment when starting cycling to work is important. Protecting your head could be the difference between life and death, so make sure that you invest in a sturdy cycle helmet that will keep your head safe in the event of a collision or fall. Head injuries account for a huge percentage of annual cycling deaths – many of which could have been avoided with the right protection. Your state will likely have laws regarding the wearing of a bicycle helmet but even if there are no laws in place, it’s always best to put your safety first.
Another key factor in staying safe when cycling to work is to make sure that you are visible to other road users. This is especially important if you plan to set off early in the morning before the sun has fully come up. There are several things that you can do to ensure that you are as visible as possible when cycling on the road including wearing a hi-viz coat or vest, hi-viz bands for your cycling helmet, and static and flashing lights that can be attached to your bike and your clothing that will make you difficult for drivers and pedestrians to miss.
Set Up Your Bike:
Investing in a proper bike fit and having your bike set up to be the best fit for your body will ensure that your rides to work are as enjoyable and as comfortable as possible. When your bike has been adjusted so that it fits your body shape, height and size correctly, you will be able to ride more efficiently and go for longer without feeling uncomfortable or in pain. If you plan to cycle long-distance, getting the right fit is even more important since it will help you avoid muscle soreness after you get off.
Know the Rules:
You might know which rules of the road apply to you as a driver, but don’t assume that these will transfer over seamlessly when you are a cyclist. Before you start cycling to work, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching and learning more about the rules of the road for riding a bike. Bear in mind that cyclists are much more vulnerable on the road compared to drivers, so understanding the rules involved with safe riding is absolutely crucial to reducing your risk of being involved in an accident and ensure that you get to work or anywhere else that you’re traveling to safely. Be sure to stick to designated cycle paths and lanes wherever possible and understand what the different road signs mean for cyclists.
Finally, when riding your bike to work, you need to be even more alert than you would be when driving. Keeping your head up is crucial and avoid anything that could distract you such as wearing headphones. If you must wear headphones to get directions from your phone, for example, opt for a pair that are designed for cyclists to wear safely and do not completely block out the traffic noises around you. It’s crucial to ensure that you are always on the lookout for any obstacles that could be coming up on the road in front – reacting to obstacles like potholes and grid covers quickly is even more important when cycling, since they will destabilize a bike much more than they would a car and could even lead to a collision if you ride over them at high speed.
Riding your bike to work is a great way to save money, improve your fitness levels and reduce road pollution. However, make sure that you’re fully prepared to stay safe and enjoy the experience before getting started.