Whether you are cycling to work each day, enjoy it as a leisurely activity or enjoy taking a road trip with your bike, you must ensure you are fully protected. As you will more than likely share the road with other vehicles, safety should be your number one priority no matter what you do. All too often, cyclists can focus on getting to the destination rather than what they might encounter on the way.
If you’re reading this article, then you will want to know how you can ultimately protect yourself when cycling and you’ve definitely come to the right place. Keep reading to find out how you can keep yourself safe when on your bike from now on.
Invest in cyclist insurance
One of the first useful ways you can protect yourself as a cyclist is to invest in some good cyclist insurance. There are various policies, so it is important that you do your research before you choose one. When it comes to bicycle insurance what is covered usually depends on what type of policy you decide to go for. However, it is useful to choose one that protects you personally, covers your bike from theft and damage as well as one that gives you some roadside assistance.
When you’re out on the road, you really don’t know what might come your way, so you need to be prepared. More often than not, cyclists don’t insure their bikes and themselves because they see it as a waste of money. However, just like you’d invest in insurance to protect you when driving a car, you should carry this mindset onto cycling too.
Use protective equipment
Secondly, this point might seem rather obvious, but using protective equipment will do a great job at protecting you while you’re on the road. As you are sharing the road with larger vehicles, you must do all you can to ensure that you are entirely protected from head to toe on any journey and on any road.
Some of the possible protective equipment you should consider using include a helmet, shoulder, back and knee pads depending on where you are cycling and a seat bag. A seat bag will include all the tools you need to fix your bike if something goes wrong on your journey. Other things you should keep on your person when cycling include a bike pump, a water bottle and a bike lock.
It is important to remember that some insurance policies don’t necessarily cover what you carry on your person. Most of the time, it just protects you and your bike from damage and theft. However, you can do some extra research to see what’s possible.
Make yourself seen
As well as investing in an abundance of protective equipment, you should also do everything you can to make yourself seen while on the road. Many experienced cyclists invest in high-quality lights to help them stay visible at night-time. There are many different lights you can purchase, and they can stay attached to your helmet, cycling jersey or your bike itself.
As well as helping you stay visible when on the road to other road users, your lights will allow you to see where you’re going too. Increased invisibility regardless of how light it is outside should be one of your priorities!
Use cycling infrastructure
Another way you can protect yourself on your cyclist ventures is by using cycling infrastructure as much as possible. Many U.S states have developed cycling infrastructure in major cities; however, they aren’t always readily available to use. In New York especially, people consistently receive charges and tickets for parking in cycle lanes. This is because cycle lanes are not as distinct in America as they are elsewhere around the world like Germany for example.
In Berlin, cycle lanes are separated from the road by a physical barrier rather than paint on the road. If your city doesn’t have a lot of cycling infrastructure, then you must do all you can to keep yourself safe while on the road. Although, if you can access infrastructure like cycle lanes and cycle traffic lights then we recommend making the most of them. This will protect you and other road users.
Finally, when it comes to the crux, you are only responsible for your safety to a certain extent. As you are sharing the road with cars and much larger vehicles, you need to put trust in other road users that they will respect your space while cycling. However, this sometimes isn’t the case. With that being said, if you implement these protective measures and maintain a confident and positive mindset, then you’re doing all you can.
How will you protect yourself as a cyclist this year?
Grace Murphy A passionate writer, Grace enjoys travelling and then sharing her experiences. Her love for exploring and finding exciting new experiences to sample translates into her work to share with the world.