There’s plenty of hazards to avoid for cyclists on the road for the cyclist to avoid this is especially true for city cycling on busy roads.
Alertness and anticipation are two of the most important skills a cyclists needs to deploy when on the road. Not only do we need to ensure we don’t make mistakes but we also need to anticipate the mistakes of other road users.
Today’s roads are full of drivers who have never cycled and are unaware of the problems faced by cyclists so it’s up to us to anticipate the mistakes of others and take action to avoid being placed into a dangerous situation. We’re the most vulnerable road users because we’re not encased in a ton of metal so our only defense is alertness and anticipation. In case you would like to see our roundup of best road bikes under 500 bucks, have a look. On the other note continue reading this article…
The Kind of Hazards We Need to Watch Out
Worn and uneven road surfaces, potholes, raised manholes, badly repaired roads are just a few of the hazards to avoid for cyclists that are a major problem for the cyclist.
In winter, after a freeze be extra vigilant because potholes will appear on previously even roads. I went down a pothole travelling home from work one night that hadn’t been there the previous night. My own fault, I wasn’t watching the road. Fortunately the road was clear but it didn’t do my front wheel any good and I was walking like John wayne for a few days.
Visibility – Make sure drivers can see you. They’re locked in their heated cars listening to the radio and thinking about the next mortgage payment so you need to make yourself really visible. In your face visibility. I still see plenty of cyclists who cycle in dark clothing with a weak light blinking away. They’re playing Russian roulette. All it takes is one half asleep driver and they’re gone.
Bad driving – Impatient drivers are a pain, and a major hazard to avoid for cyclists, Theses people think they’re so important that they have to get wherever they’re going super fast. You’ll see them accelerating from light to light like Jeremy Clarkson going round his test track. Gesturing impatiently to other drivers. These people are just idiots. We can’t change their behavior but we must react to it. We need to make allowances for it. In the interest of our own safety.
Distracted drivers – It’s illegal to use a mobile while driving but many drivers don’t care, they’ll be on the phone while driving through heavy traffic. If you’re on the phone you’re not paying 100% attention to the road. As a cyclist you need to be aware of this and be prepared to take action to ensure your safety.
Unassigned turns – I see this a lot lately, maybe modern driving schools don’t teach signalling anymore, or maybe some drivers are just so selfish they don’t think they’ll bother letting other road users know what they’re going to do. I’ve seen this occasionally and had to brake hard on one occasion to avoid a collision with a driver who accelerated past me then turned.
Sometimes I think if you did a risk assessment on the hazards to avoid for cyclists you’d never be allowed on your bike. It’s not all bad news though, most of these problems can be eliminated by a vigilant cyclist. I don’t wear my ipod when I’m cycling to work through traffic, I use all my senses to cycle safely.
Staying safe on the road is all about anticipation and attention to what’s going on around you. It’s up to us as cyclists to take evasive action when necessary because it’s us that will suffer if we don’t. there’s so many hazards to avoid for cyclists but most can be negated by an alert cyclists.