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Cycling tips for staying safe on the road

200401751-001Triathletes across Canada can rejoice that basement trainer sessions are almost behind us and the outdoor riding season is here or approaching. As the seasons change and drivers adjust to different levels of light in the early mornings and evenings, triathletes need to be extra carefulwhen riding on the road. Here are a few tips I live and train by for staying safe.

1. Be visible. Try not to wear a lot of black or dark clothing. Wear lights on both the back and front of your bike when riding at dawn or dusk.

2. Shoulder check. It is important to check behind you periodically and when you are veering from your line as when moving over to avoid a pothole. It is much better to get a flat tire than pull in front of a car that is not expecting it.

3. Ride single file on busy roads. Make sure that you only ride two people wide when it is safe to do so and on roads with very little traffic and wide shoulders.

4. Always stop for stop signs.

5. If doing intervals on the road, choose a quiet section without stop signs or on a looped course with only right hand turns. And, always stop for stop signs and check for cars even when you are hammering that last rep.

6. If you to ride with head phones, only put one in (the right one) so that you can hear the traffic coming up behind you with your left ear.

7. Be sure you have the optimal eye wear for the day’s conditions. Clear glasses are best for cloudy and rainy days, while dark shades are perfect in the sun.

8. Before you go out do a quick check to make sure your breaks and gearing are in good order.

9. Carry some form of ID in the case of an emergency.

10. Always respect the rules of the road.