Make Safety a Priority & Reap the Benefits of Cycling

Sports & Travel

Make Safety a Priority & Reap the Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is not just your regular hobby. On top of being a lot of fun, it also provides gains for you in terms of health and well-being. Taking the various benefits that come with cycling, it’s no wonder it has become so much more than a hobby.

cycling

Source: blog.mapmyrun.com

Cycling has turned into a way of life and not just for people who use it to commute. Much like in Europe, it’s one of the preferred outdoor activities in Australia with up to about 3.43 million Australians riding their bikes weekly.

I have to point out though, if you want to make the most of it, you have to make safety your priority. This can be done by investing in suitable protection equipment, as well as learning how to be more alert, and being in the know of the bike laws across the country. Let’s look into some safety tips below.

Buy Adequate Protective Gear

  • Helmet

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It’s true that Australia is among the few countries in the world where there’s a helmet law since the 1990s, but avoiding fines shouldn’t be the only reason to abide by this rule. Wearing a helmet is for your own good as it decreases the risk of facial breaks and serious head injuries! Since the market is full of options, you’d do yourself a favour by narrowing your search down to top-notch BMX helmets approved by Australian standards.

cycling-helmet

Source: guides.wiggle.co.uk

Why BMX and not a standard helmet you ask? Well, while most standard helmets do offer a good amount of protection, if you want to be 100% sure to avoid potential head injury, BMX bike helmets are the way to go. The BMX design is outstanding when it comes to safety because it’s got a hard shell, dial-fit system, die-cut padding, a chin bar for facial protection and an ITW standard buckle for secure adjustment – all features that make it lightweight and sturdy enough for protection.

Furthermore, BMX helmet features holes to provide enough ventilation and keep the wearer cool and comfortable. The great news is they’re available in different sizes and colours, so if you’re out for a ride with your family and friends, you can wear matching helmets.

  • Pads

bmx-pads

Source: bikeradar.com

The gear should also include adequate shoulder and knee pads to keep you safe. Same as with the head that requires protection from a BMX helmet, the knees and shoulders are the parts that mostly suffer during accidents and falls, especially with off-road cycling. If you want to avoid serious injuries as well as surgical treatments, it’s best to include the pads in your equipment essentials.

  • Reflective Clothing

Bmx-Reflective-Clothing

Source: bikebiz.com

When you’re on the road, you have to be aware most car drivers are paying attention to cars and other vehicles so they’re less likely to watch out for cyclists. Instead of giving up cycling altogether, or avoiding certain roads altogether, it’s best to make yourself as visible as you can.

When you’re riding in traffic (always go with the flow and never against it!), it’s just as important to follow the rules, obeying traffic signals and signs same as you would when driving any vehicle. Then again, it’s also important to wear fluorescent and reflective pieces of clothing. Consider this a must particularly when you’re out for early morning and night rides!

Maintain Your Equipment

bike-maintenance

Source: rei.com

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your equipment, both protective gear and the bike included, so as to ensure your safety as well as prolong their lifespan. Before and after every ride, remember to check out the chain, front and rear lights, and tire pressure.

Since defects can happen at any time, it’s advisable to pack up an emergency kit when you’re out and about consisting of the right set of bike tools if you don’t want to end up stranded far away. Also, don’t forget to maintain and store your BMX bike helmets, pads, clothes properly to protect them from any damage.

Check the Weather Forecast

wather-forecast

Source: aboutregional.com.au

As surprising as it may sound, many accidents happen when the weather is great instead of when it’s pouring or snowing, mostly because more people (both cyclists and vehicle drivers) are out and about then. Still, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the weather before your rides if you care about your safety!

Being in the know of light or heavy rains gives you the chance to equip yourself with the suitable waterproof gear. When it’s too hot, sunscreen, bottles of water and hats are your best friends!

Stay Alert

Forget about riding before you’ve had your first cup of coffee! You shouldn’t take your chances when you’re sleepy, so grab a cup of coffee, grab a chewing gum and you’re ready to go. Alertness will help keep you out of trouble, as you’d pay more attention to the traffic around you, staying away from parked cars and opening doors. In case you want to increase your alertness by improving your view, you should consider adding rear-view mirrors on the handlebars and perhaps even the BMX helmets.

cycle-earphones

Source: vox.com

Also, I have to point out the ongoing debate of whether or not you should cycle with your earphones in. If wearing them masks too much of the surrounding noise, it’s best to leave them at home or at least stored in your backpack. Those who simply must wear them to make their ride enjoyable should keep the volume to the minimum to be able to hear any traffic signals.

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Chris Wilson

Writing for the blog since 2012, Chris simply loves the idea of providing people with useful info on business, technology, vehicles, industry, sports and travel – all subjects of his interest. Even though he sounds like quite the butch, he’d watch a chick flick occasionally if it makes the wife happy, and he’s a fan of skincare routines though you’d never have him admit that unless you compliment his impeccable skin complexion.

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