The definitive decalogue for worry-free cycling in the city

The use of bicycles in the city continues to grow. Whether it is for sustainability, to lead a healthier life or because it is more pleasant to use this means of transport. The truth is that since 2019, the use of bicycles within localities has grown worldwide.

Greater use of bicycles in cities also brings with it the civic behavior necessary for safer commuting. This is the decalogue to move by bike in the city without worries:

1 Traffic lights and signaling

Like all other vehicles circulating in a city, bicycles must follow the regulations of traffic signals and traffic lights. Bicycle lanes also have their own signage which, like the rest, must be respected. It is a question of safety, because running a red light can cause a collision at an intersection with a vehicle (which is much more solid than a bicycle) or can cause an accident with a pedestrian (which is much more fragile than a bicycle).

2 Lighting and bells

This is a basic tip for the cyclist’s own safety. Bicycles should have lighting systems that allow the cyclist to be seen more easily. This is a must during the hours of less light, but it is useful for the whole day, since the lighting, despite being in full sunlight, helps other drivers to see a bicycle.

The bell is also very important to signal our position if needed and is something that helps pedestrians or other vehicles to notice our presence.

3 Learn to signal changes in direction or speed.

As we share the road with more cyclists and motorized vehicles, it is important to keep in mind that those moving around a cyclist have no way of knowing the cyclist’s intentions. For that, there are gestures that help to show whether they are going to brake or turn. If the turn is to the left, the cyclist should stretch out his left arm to that side, indicating the change. For the right there are two options: do the same, but with the right arm, or raise the left arm at a 90-degree angle. In case of braking, stretch the left arm and, with the palm facing the ground, make short up and down gestures.

4 Use bike lanes whenever possible.

There are more and more kilometers of bike lanes around the world, and they continue to grow. Whenever possible, cyclists should use this space prepared for them, as they are much safer and more comfortable for the cyclist and, on many occasions, they are often much faster paths than the traffic lanes themselves as they have fewer traffic lights.

5 Not using sidewalks

Related to the previous point, it is forbidden to ride on sidewalks. Therefore, the recommendation is to avoid riding a bicycle on these areas at all costs, since the safety of pedestrians is put at risk, while the cyclist risks a fine.

Whenever you have to cross a sidewalk or ride for a few meters on a sidewalk, you should get off your bicycle and walk until you leave the pedestrian pavement.

6 Passive safety measures

Cycling is a great way to get around the city. But this is not incompatible with taking a series of safety measures. Some tips are basic, such as wearing a helmet, but it is also a good option to wear gloves to protect your hands in case of a fall.

Of course, it is very important to always keep your eyes and ears on the road, so it is forbidden to use headphones, with which you lose focus on the road and do not perceive what is around you.

7 Plan the route, look for the safest routes.

The most efficient way to move around the city is to plan your route. When we take public transport or travel by car, we usually check the route to follow. With the bicycle you should do the same: see which streets have bike lanes and which do not to choose the safest ones; decide which roads have less traffic and which are better for cycling; or even know if some have steep slopes.

8 0.0% alcohol or drugs on the bicycle

Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is very dangerous because our abilities are reduced, which can lead to accidents that put our own and other people’s lives at risk.

In addition, driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs carries very serious fines, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed or recidivism.

9 Keep your equipment in good condition

It is just as safe to wear a helmet as it is to have your bicycle in good condition. First of all, make sure that the tires are properly inflated. Be aware that the only element in contact with the ground are the tires, so they must be in good condition.

The same applies to the brakes; they are the first safety system in the event of an unforeseen event, so it is recommended to brake symmetrically, with both brakes at the same time, and if the user feels anything unusual when braking, the bike should be serviced. Other elements such as the chain, pedals, saddle or handlebars should also be checked periodically, and in the case of the saddle and handlebars, make sure they are at the correct height for each user, for greater comfort and to avoid knee injuries.

10 Having a bike with a basket

It may seem a minor thing because we are inside the city, but having a bike with a basket to carry what the user needs never hurts. There are routes that are longer, it can be hot if it is summer or we can have any unforeseen, that is why it is an advantage to have a bike with a basket to carry a bottle of water or whatever you need on hand to avoid situations and unforeseen events that may arise in the city.

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