An undeniable positive side effect of the coronavirus crisis is that many people are taking the opportunity to try out new activities. There’s been an increase in the number of cyclists on the road. Bike riding complies with social distancing measures and is a fantastic sport that helps people improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

With more people cycling than ever before, and with many of them being beginner riders, it’s important to follow some basic safe bike riding tips.

Cyclist wearing fluro Yellow jersey

Wear The Right Clothes

Wearing the right cycling clothes is key because they help you ride more securely by allowing your body to move more freely. They also protect your body from all weather conditions.

A cycling jersey and a cycling jacket are lightweight yet offer great protection against the wind and rain. They can also have reflective trims to increase your visibility on the road.

Cycling gloves and cycling shoes are also very important. A good pair of cycling gloves protects your hands, giving you extra padding and shock absorption. Cycling shoes not only make you look the part, but also give your feet support and protection, whilst keeping them in the optimal position on the pedals.

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Cyclist securing mountain bike helmet on

Wear The Right Helmet

Wearing a bike helmet is fundamental for your safety, and it’s required by law. There’s a wide variety of helmets and you should wear one that feels comfortable and suits your style of riding.

If you’re going to be doing long rides, a road bike helmet is a good option. It has more air vents to allow airflow and help keep you cool around the head and neck.

A mountain bike requires a special mountain bike helmet, or MTB helmet. It has a front visor to protect you from the sun and extra protection for impacts.

A kids helmet shouldn’t be just colourful and fun. Make sure it’s a proper cycling helmet, made from the right materials to protect your child when those unexpected accidents happen.

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Two cyclist riding with front lights on

See And Be Seen

Your bike lights need to fulfil two equally important purposes: to allow you to see the road and to help you be seen by other road users.

Your bike should have a front bike light, a rear bike light and reflectors. You can also increase your visibility by wearing reflective clothing.

A bike radar is another good addition to your bike riding gear. It alerts you when a car is approaching you from behind, and it can also incorporate lighting.

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Keep Your Bike In Good Order

Safety starts with your own bike. You need tyres in good condition and your bike components should be clean and lubricated.

Don’t forget to take your bike for regular services and tune-ups at your local 99 Bikes store.

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Follow The Rules

Follow local traffic rules and be aware of your rights and obligations as a bike rider. These are some simple safety tips that can make a big difference on the road:

  • Never assume a car driver has seen you
  • Avoid riding in blind spots of other road users
  • Signal clearly when you need to turn or change direction
  • Always be aware of the sounds around you (avoid headphones that impair your hearing)
  • Watch carefully for turning vehicles

Cyclist picking route out from map

Plan Your Route

Know and plan your route in advance. If the weather hasn’t been great, find out if the roads you’re planning to take have been affected. Be aware of how long the route will probably take you to complete, just to know if you’ll be coming back home in the dark. Remember to take enough liquids to stay hydrated during the whole journey, even if it’s not a particularly hot day.