Ten Rules for Safer Cycling
Are you a cyclist?
Do you ride a bicycle to come to work or during your spare time?
The following advice is provided to make your journey safer.
Have a look, discuss with your children and, together, play your part in making our roads safer.
1. Make sure your bicycle is in good working order: brakes, gears, lights and other equipment must be checked by a “professional”. Note that properly inflated tyres have a lower risk of leaking and run better. So make sure your tyre pressure is right.
2. Don’t be afraid to occupy your rightful place on the road. Riding as far to the right as possible to keep out of people’s way is a natural reflex but puts you at risk for two reasons: you could be knocked over if a car door opens unexpectedly on your right and you could be forced off the road by cars passing on your left. So don’t hesitate to position yourself in line with the cars’ right wheels, even if this means moving slightly to the right, out of courtesy, on uphill sections. By keeping to a straight line and avoiding zigzag movements, you will enable cars behind you to anticipate.
3. Beware of blind spots and sideways movements of heavy goods vehicles, buses and vans. Never ride alongside one of these vehicles when they are moving.
4. Give a clear indication of your intentions, using your hand or arm to signal your intended direction and maintaining eye contact with car drivers to ensure they have seen you and have understood what you are about to do. Be particularly careful when overtaking or riding past a queue of stationary vehicles: drivers will not be expecting to see you go past.
5. Turn left in three phases: look carefully ahead and behind you, put out your hand to indicate that you intend to change direction, then place both hands on the handlebars and turn left.
6. When the lights are red, position yourself in front of the first car, even if there are no specific road markings for cyclists. This position makes you clearly visible and allows you to turn left more easily.
7. Make sure you can be seen day and night: brightly-coloured clothes with reflective materials, proper lights, reflectors and a reflective armband are all extremely important.
8. Choose your route and check in advance which streets are quiet and specially equipped for cyclists. Try to avoid major roads. Be curious, explore new routes, try parallel streets, discover new neighbourhoods… This is part of the fun of discovering your town by bike.
9. Abide by the highway code and respect pedestrians and other road users. A little courtesy goes a long way.
10. Be confident think ahead, anticipate obstacles, brake in good time, change gear on a hill, look car drivers in the eye; look well ahead, in the direction your front wheel is heading;
be confident in your abilities – nervousness will only increase the risk of a fall or an accident;
pay attention to pedestrians – they tend to cross “by ear”, in other words trusting in what they can hear, not in what they can (or should) see.
Thank you for making the roads safer!