Have you ever been driving on a country road and suddenly come upon a cyclist? I know I have. Remembering when I used to ride, I relied on the driver to know I was there. I might call that a child’s perspective. But as a parent, I look at cycling safety through a different set of eyes. Here are some cycling safety tips for both cyclists and motorists to consider.
Cycling Safety Tips for Cyclists:
For cyclists this is a great time of year to do a safety inspection of your motorcycle and/or bicycle and gear, especially if it’s been stored and unused during the winter.
It is also important to do a safety check of your vehicle before you hit the road or trail. Each time, before you head out for a ride:
1. Check the air pressure in your wheels
2. Test your brakes
3. Bring a tire repair kit
4. Wear a whistle
This last one is a tip from a medical doctor who used to cycle with me. If you do get into an accident, it’s much easier for you to whistle than yell or scream, if you need assistance. Not only is it easier for you to do, but also it’s easier for passers by to hear.
Don’t forget to wear a helmet! It’s required by law in Virginia.
Cycling Safety Tips for Motorists:
You’ll see more and more motorcycles and bicycles around Rockbridge County, Virgina as the weather warms up.
The big safety tip for motorists is to watch out for cyclists!
They are smaller and usually less visible. Plus, motorcycles stop and accelerate faster than other vehicles, so you don’t want to be too close.
If it’s a bicycle, be careful even if they’re riding on the side of road. I like to give a little extra room when passing too. The cyclist could hit a rock and go down or swerve left to avoid hitting something. Things happen.
If you see a motorcyclist stopped on the side of the road, it’s nice to stop and ask if they need help. It could be a blown tire, they could have run out of gas, or maybe they forgot to turn on the reserve, which I did once when I was a young cyclist…back when the earth was cold.
The bottom line is that motorcyclists and bicyclists are more vulnerable, especially on a curvy road or highway, which we have a lot of here in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Both cyclists and motorists should practice these safety tips as a precaution.