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Cycling Safety For Young And Old

Even in today’s rushed society, we find that the sport of cycling, as well as cycling as a way of transport, is increasing in popularity. Why is this? One of the main reasons for the increase in sport is the increasing visibility of large cycle races, but more and more people are also becoming aware the fact that this sport is one that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

A bicycle is often the first vehicle any person gets, and this usually happens during childhood. Therefore the relationship is established early in life. Furthermore, having a bicycle is often one's first taste of independence and mobility. This comes with its own dangers, and it is therefore essential that children are taught cycling safety, and the importance of cycling safety equipment right from the word go. Child">All too often cyclists are seriously injured, or even killed, when they fail to follow basic bicycle safety rules. For ordinary cycling learning about safety is more important than buying top range equipment. Good safety knowledge can keep you safe on a bad bike, but lack of knowledge won't keep you safe on a good bike.

The following safety tips may prevent an accident, or lessen the severity of it, should it occur:
oWear the appropriate safety equipment. Every cyclist should wear a cycling helmet that conforms to safety standards whenever riding on a road. Bicycle helmets, properly fitted and worn, have been found effective in reducing the incidence and severity of head, brain, and upper facial injury.

o. Whether you are riding a bicycle or driving a vehicle on the street in front of your house or on some other familiar road, remain alert. Be aware of cars coming out of driveways when cycling past homes

o. If cycling between a half-hour after sunset and a half-hour before sunrise, the bicycle must be equipped with a white front headlight visible in darkness for at least 500 feet, and a red taillight visible for at least 300 feet.

o. Make sure that you are very visible, by wearing reflective clothing and/or reflective beams on your bicycle. A motorist may be looking your way and still not see you on your bicycle. Eye contact is important with any driver that might pose a threat to your safety.

o. Be aware of the surface of the road. Bicycle tires are narrow and can easily get caught in ruts, sewer grates, and/or debris on the road, causing accidents.

o. Keep your bicycle's tires, brakes and safety equipment in good working order. You never know when you may need it.

o. Bicycle riders on public streets have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers, but should adhere to the relevant laws and traffic rules. Automobile drivers often complain that bicyclists ignore safety rules and state or local laws.

o. Drive your bicycle with traffic, not against it.

o. Know your limitations and your bicycle's limitations.

o. Do not ride a bicycle while wearing earphones.

o. A bicycle should suit the rider's ability and kind of riding.
oMake sure that the bicycle is the correct size for the cyclist, as an oversized bicycle impedes balance and hampers control. This may lead to an accident.

o. Adhere to adequate signalling when cycling. The following apply: a) Left turn: left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle; b) Right turn: two signalling methods exist, extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or right hand and arm extended horizontally. c) Stop or sudden decrease of speed: left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

Submitted by:

Marietjie Van Der Heyde

Marietjie van der Heyde has been a cyclist for many years and is passionate about creating awareness of the benefits of this sport.Whilst it is important to enjoy cycling, please make sure that the cyclist in you family or group is safe. Visit http://www.cycleracetraining.com for more info.




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