Cycling is an exhilarating activity that many people enjoy. Sadly, it does not seem to be a sport with a lot of women involved. In fact, only 29 percent of cyclists in San Francisco are women. Meanwhile in Barcelona, there’s only a single female cyclist for every three male cyclists.
Women deal with many struggles when cycling, which include violence, discrimination, and harassment. Just as much as people need to be educated against such behaviors, women also need to learn how to protect themselves when cycling – whether it is from rude drivers or from potential road accidents. Enjoy cycling by staying safe. Here are eight safety tips that women can apply when they hit the road:
Cycling requires you to be on the road, which means that you will be exposed to hazards every driver faces. Make sure to wear appropriate attire. Don’t let anything hang loose, as it could get snagged along the way. Wearing a helmet is also an extra protection that will save your life. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, especially on easily exposed areas like the back of your neck. And upgrade your bike to improve its condition and to ensure your safety.
The more you dress like a peacock, the more you will stand out and get seen on the road. Always wear high-visibility gear when cycling. Choose ones that are not only reflective but also breathable. Bringing along a backpack will cover the majority of your back and block your high-vis outfit. You can opt to invest in a reflective backpack to make you visible from the back.
Keeping the lights on will also help you see the road at night and make you visible at the same time. Bring backup LED lights just in case the main lights go off.
Always keep your eyes on the road and have a presence of mind when you go cycling. Look out for other drivers, motorists, and fellow cyclists. Even pedestrians walking their cute pets can distract you in one second. And anything can happen in that single second.
Be aware of others:
Cyclists are some of the most vulnerable on the roads. Because of this, you need to be extra cautious of others. Yes, do everything in your power to be safe; from wearing a high-vis outfit to following road rules, but be aware of those around you too. If you do end up being injured, you should seek expert assistance. You can read this personal injury guide for more information.
Follow road rules:
If you haven’t biked or driven lately, you may need to get a refresher course on the road rules, especially ones that are applicable to cycling. Most importantly, know the bike safety rules. This will help you prevent the most common cyclist accidents.
Cyclists have as much right on the road as motorists. Be confident in your decisions and abilities. To keep safe on the road, let road users know your intention clearly early on. This will help keep traffic flowing. Avoid road accidents by steering clear from vehicle blind spots. Staying close to the side or behind a moving car will not end well for you in case an accident occurs.
Always be on the lookout for possible doorings. You will never know when accidents will occur, so you should take steps to minimize this occurrence. Watch out for parked cars and look ahead at their mirrors for any vehicle occupants. Avoid riding inside the door zone as doors could spring open unexpectedly.
Be safe by bringing along some first-aid supplies, such as an elastic sports tape that will help relieve inflamed muscles. These should come in handy if you ever encounter a dooring or any other accident.
Plan when to ride ahead of time. Early mornings or evenings will let you ride in less traffic and keep you a lot safer. Avoid peak times, especially if you ride anywhere near shopping centers or school zones. If you find yourself riding in such settings, though, be extra careful. Watch out for pedestrians and drivers and always be prepared for anything.
Keeping yourself safe also means keeping your trusty steed secure. Don’t forget to include a bike lock when you prepare for a ride. This is especially useful when you’re taking a quick stop and have to leave the bike in an unfamiliar area.
Both women and men have the right to participate in cycling. Just like any sport, there are many hazards that surround it. But these shouldn’t stop people from doing the activities they love. Simply follow the rules of the road, apply the right safety tips, and you should enjoy cycling to the fullest.
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