Whether you are cycling as your daily exercise or as a method of travel to work to avoid public transport, many people are now reuniting with their bicycles. To make the most of your cycling, you should know the risks, your responsibilities and what to do if something goes wrong.
Bicycles are far safer than most other vehicles, but not risk-free so you should familiarise yourself with the rules of the road and don’t ride on the footpath.
When the sun sets you are required to have lights on your bike, so you can see where you are going but so that other people can see you too.
Whilst cycling two abreast is permitted, you should ride single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round corners.
Your bike is also legally required to have an efficient braking system.
Think about insurance, your household policy may cover you already or if not take out a separate policy in case you cause an accident.
While there is no law to make helmets or high visibility clothing for cyclists mandatory, it is sensible to do so and the Highway Code suggests that cyclists should wear a “cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely fastened.”
Think about other road users as you approach them. We often help people injured by car doors opened into them, cars pulling out into their path, or turning left across them. You cannot prevent other road users driving badly, but it makes sense to do what you can to reduce your exposure.
In town be aware of pedestrians as they can be very unpredictable. Our cycle paths are often shared with pedestrians so keep an eye out for walkers, kids, dogs, and the leads they are attached to.
If you go out into the wild make sure that people know where you are going and have a charged mobile phone with you at all times. Apps that track your location can quickly drain your battery and remember that if you are in the middle of the Gortin Glens your mobile phone may not have good reception.
If you are unfortunate to be involved in an accident it is important to stay calm and take the following action:
· the police should be called if someone has been injured;
· any witnesses should be asked for their name, address and phone number;
· check if anyone managed to capture the accident on their dash cam;
· get the name, address and car registration of any vehicles involved;
· take photographs of the scene of the accident and in particular of all vehicles, the position of your bike and any damage or skid marks; and
· if your accident was caused by a pedestrian obtain their name and address.
· If a pothole caused your accident, take photographs from various distances.
If you have any questions arising from this blog, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 82 242 177