You see the hale and hearty bikers on the road each day whizzing their way into work and think, that could be you. Two wheels and the open road sound great, but how do you make sure that you’re bike safe?
- practice cycling in a straight line – about the width of a bike lane – while doing a shoulder check, left or right.
- nearly 60% of motorist-cyclist collisions occur at intersections, clearly signal your direction then position yourself directly ahead or behind the vehicle in the lane that you plan to proceed in.
- if you’re not confident in the drivers or the intersection around you, walk your bike across at the intersection or crosswalk.
- just like you’d do with any vehicle, make sure that you’re doing an annual check-up: brakes, reflectors, helmet, tire pressure, etc.
- know the rules of the road. As a cyclist, you are prohibited by law to ride side by side – or abreast – of another cyclist, which goes hand in hand with the stricture to ride as close to the right side of the highway as practical.
- light it up – make sure that your bike has a strong front light, and a back light that are approved by the Insurance Corporation of BC. Check to make sure that they’re visible for at least 150 metres. Although not currently part of the Motor Vehicle Act, making sure that you can be seen from the side by adding a few reflectors, just makes sense.
- like other drivers on the road, you need to stay alert. It is important to watch out for distracted drivers, wandering pedestrians and unexpected road obstacles like debris or suddenly opening car doors.
- Being seen is a great offense, although an all black outfit may be chic it can be deadly.
Make sure you take the time to teach the next generation the rules of the road as well with this great guide from ICBC on bike smarts. Riding your bike is a great way to look after your health and the environment as long as you apply a little every day bike sense to the journey.
Find more about cycling safety through the Insurance Bureau of Canada