While many of us love cycling, there is an element of danger every time you go out for a ride. So, today, I thought I would take a look at some of the biggest dangers faced by cyclists – and how to overcome them.
Let’s not get too carried away here, as cycling routes have improved a lot over the last decade or so. But, there is still a lot of work to do regarding educating drivers – and cyclists – of using the road safely. While most roads are OK in general terms, there are evident problem areas that all cyclists should be aware of. Junctions, in particular, are particularly dangerous, especially when there are large vehicles around. Blind spots play their part, of course, so never take any risks. Just because things are improving, doesn’t mean you are immune to mistakes – and it could end up being the last one you make.
Pedestrians are a bigger issue in large, bustling cities – but you need to keep your wits about you wherever you are. They will appear in front of you from nowhere, make snap decisions to cross a road, and the results can be painful for both of you. There’s a simple fix, of course – don’t cycle fast in built up, busy areas. You should also keep your eyes open for parked cars and vans. Could there be someone about to come out from behind them? Is there someone about to open a door? Be especially careful when filtering through stopped traffic.
In an alternate universe, I’m sure that there is an Earth where bicycle locks are allowed to be electrified. Sadly, in this one, it’s nowhere near legal. So, as much as you want to, don’t get any ideas. I know people who have spent small fortunes on their bikes, and have lost them after leaving them – locked – for less than twenty minutes. Keep your bike out of sight as much as possible – in a shed, garage, or a locked bike store. Look into insurance comparison sites, too, so that you have the best cover should you lose your pride and joy. And, get the biggest, baddest, lock you possibly can – without the electric shock button, of course.
Falling off is one of the biggest fears that non-cyclists have of riding a bike. And, I have to say from experience, they aren’t wrong! The truth is, however, that you are more likely to injure yourself from overdoing it. All cyclists push themselves too far on occasion, and it’s easy to do – especially when you’re just starting out. Go slowly, know your limits, and make sure you have your bike set up for optimal posture. Positioning is another big issue, and you can suffer from a lot of neck, back and knee pain if you don’t evaluate how you sit in your saddle.
OK, so there you have it – some of the biggest problems with cycling. Don’t let them put you off, though. It’s an excellent activity that promotes health and fitness, and it does a lot to protect the environment. Just be aware – and stay safe!