Is 2018 your year of the bike?
Was this the year you resolved to get healthy and possibly lose a few kilos? Perhaps you're keen to save on petrol, parking and the angst of commuter traffic - whatever the motivation to get on your bike, our tips will ensure you do so safely.
At Connect we’re all about encouraging commuters to try alternative modes of transport to get to and from work. So if 2018 is the year you vowed to get back on your bike the following will ensure you're ready and raring to go.
1. Check your equipment
If your bike has been collecting dust in the garage its important you give your bike some love before you get riding. Sometimes a clean, check of tyre pressure and brakes, and lubricating any squeaks is all that required, however a regular service by professional will ensure your ride is smooth and safe and prevents bigger problems from arising.
2. Know your route
Before you ride make sure you have mapped your route and are familiar with the roads and conditions you will be riding in. The other advantages of planning your ride is avoiding busy roads and knowing how many hills you need to prepare for. You may also choose to take the longer but more scenic route.
There are a host of mapping websites and apps that make it easy to plot your route. Some of the better known ones include Strava, CycleMaps, and more advanced options like MapMyRide. Some such as the Bike Citizens Cycling App features voice prompts so you can keep your eyes on the road and enjoy the ride. As a Connect member you can download this App for FREE - check out our article on member benefits for more detail on this offer.
3. Swot up on the rules of the road
Remember the road is there to be shared, and cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as other road users. As they tend to be larger and harder cars usually do fare better in collisions than cyclists, so it's good to know some basic rules including:
- Bicycle riders must use a bicycle lane where one is available
- When riding in traffic you must stop at red lights, stop and give-way signs
- You may travel in a Bus Lane, Transit Lane or Truck Lane but not in a Bus Only Lane.
- Bicycle riders aged 12 years or older must not ride on a footpath
- A cyclist must not ride a bicycle on any part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge other than the cycleway.
A full set of road rules can be found here.
4. Don't forget your helmet !
Not only is the fine for riding without a helmet a hefty $319 in NSW, medical experts agree that riders are at significantly less risk of head injury if they wear a helmet meeting Australian standards.
Need help getting back in the saddle?
Check out Bicycle NSW's 5 Tips to get riding this summer.
Our Co-Hop mentoring scheme is a great way to find an experienced cycling buddy in your area to help you feel comfortable on the roads and with your commute.
Register today to find an experienced rider to help you get back on your bike!