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Top Tips for Safe Commuting

Words by Balfes Bikes

on 13/09/2021 08:35:40

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Commuting by bike is one of the most rewarding ways to travel to work, but we understand that if you’re new to the world of bicycle commuting it can be a daunting prospect – in rush hour the traffic can be a lot more intense than on your Sunday morning cruise!

We want to help you get the most out of your daily commute, and to feel as safe as possible. Below are some of our top tips for keeping safe when out on the road.

Be safe, Be Seen:
Possibly the most important tip we can offer. Changing light throughout the day can wreak havoc on driver’s vision and as you dip into shadow if you’re wearing dark colours and have no lights on your bike it can be extremely hard to see you. Make yourself as visible as possible - we can’t stress enough the importance of being able to be seen from a distance when out on the road. If you’d like more info on how to choose the lights that are best suited for your needs, then check out our Lighting Guide, or our full range of lights is available here.

Practice Makes Perfect:
If you haven’t ridden for a long time (many people who jump on a bike as adults haven’t ridden since they were a child, so you’re not alone if this is you), then before you hit rush hour riding, give yourself some time to get used to riding a bike again! Practice using your controls, cornering, coming to a stop and setting off so that when you start commuting, you’re fully prepared and comfortable on your bike.

Stick to the Rules of the Road:
As tempting as it is to fly through that red light when you’re in a hurry, you’re putting yourself and other road users at risk. We’d advise giving yourself a refresher on the highway code, particularly the parts that relate to cycling! As a road user, you are expected to obey the rules like anyone else.

Know Your Route:
Knowing your route prior to commuting will help make the whole experience a far less stressful affair. Rush hour traffic can get very heavy and congested so knowing your route takes one variable out of the mix and means you can get on with your journey without having to figure it out as you go.

Use Strong Signalling:
Drivers who don’t use signalling correctly regularly cause road traffic accidents, and the same goes for cyclists. Don’t assume that other road users know your intentions from your position on the road – using strong hand signals in advance of any manoeuvre avoids confusion and allows people to plan their next movements appropriately.

Make Sure Your Bike Is Road Ready:
If your bike has been out of use for some time, then it’s essential that you give it the relevant checks to ensure it’s safe to be on the road. The last thing you want is a mechanical on a busy road! We’d recommend booking in for a service where an expert mechanic will be able to spruce up your ride and make sure your wheels keep turning when they need to.

We hope the above tips have helped you feel more prepared for your daily commute – once you feel confident on the road there’s no doubt that getting to work on your bike is the most fun way to travel!

As always, if you have any questions or if you have any top tips of your own then please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

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