Lifestyle | How not to get knocked off your bike!

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A bike has become the transport of choice for many in recent years. Unfortunately, our roads can be exceptionally unsafe for cyclists and motorists alike.

The financial and health benefits of cycling is enough to make anyone want to spend their mornings spinning into work.

The only thing that stops many is the perceived higher risks associated with cycling, especially in urban cities. The number of fatalities on the roads in recent years can be a huge deterrent to many. However, it is hoped that the new rules for cyclists and increasing investment in cycling lanes will protect and safeguard cyclists.

Before you take to the roads, here are some tips on how not to get knocked off your bike.

Get a headlight. For daytime riding, a bright white light that has a flashing mode can make you more visible to motorists. Headlamps, mounted on your head or helmet, are the best for night riding.

You should always wear fluorescent and reflective clothing to make sure other road users can see you. This includes high visibility vests, armbands, and reflective belts.

If you cannot make eye contact with the driver, wave your arm. It may be easier for the driver to see your arm going left and right than any other signal.

Here are some other tricks to cycling on the road;

  • Know how to control your bike before cycling in traffic.
  • Never weave in and out of traffic. Stay in your lane and signal your turns.
  • Always cycle with the flow of traffic.
  • Never hold on to a moving vehicle.
  • Never wear an mp3 player or iPod or use a mobile phone when you are cycling.
  • Always obey the Rules of the Road. Other road users will respect you more if you respect the rules.
  • Ride well clear of the kerb. It will help drivers to see you and will prevent your pedal hitting the kerb. You also have more room to move if you come across obstacles or if vehicles pass too close to you.
  • Show drivers what you plan to do. Always look and signal before you start, stop or turn.
  • Ride a straight line past parked cars rather than be constantly weaving in and out.
  • Ride positively and decisively. It helps motorists to understand what you plan to do.
  • Never cycle on a footpath unless it has a cycle track. Use cycle tracks and or lanes where provided.
  • Keep well back from motor vehicles in case they brake.