How can we have fun and keep safe on the roads this summer? We’ve all got to share the road safely. Here are our top tips for two, four or more wheels.
Getting Ready to Cycle
- Make sure the seat is low enough that your feet can touch the ground when stationary.
- Check there is no movement where the handlebars and forks connect to the frame.
- Brakes should hold the bike still even when you try to push it forward; brake levers should be easy to reach.
- Tyres should be firmly inflated.
- Wheels should spin without sticking or wobbling and spokes should all be in place and undamaged.
- Your helmet should be an approved model and fit snugly without moving around as you ride.
- Wear bright colours and especially if riding at night, in low light or rain, make sure you have reflectors, reflective tape and lights (with plenty of battery power) attached.
- Avoid loose clothing that may become tangled in the chain or wheels. Never ride with bags dangling from your handlebars.
Sharing the Road Safely
Safety Tips for Cyclists
Be prepared: Plan a safe route and check your bike before you start – brakes, tyres, chain, reflectors and lights.
Be seen: Wear high visibility or brightly coloured clothing. Use front and rear lights at night, in low light or rain.
Be aware: Watch for potholes, rubbish, grates, pedestrians and other hazards.
Be predictable: Make eye contact with other road users to ensure they are aware of you and signal your intentions clearly.
Be confident: Ride in a straight line, at least one metre from parked cars and take the middle of the lane when you have to.
Be patient: Slow down near parked or lined up vehicles. Pass slowly and only when safe.
Be considerate: Try not to hold up the flow of traffic – if necessary, pull over to allow vehicles to pass.
Be responsible: Know the road rules and follow them. Wear an approved helmet, make sure it fits firmly and keep it buckled up. If your helmet is dropped or becomes dented or broken in a crash, replace it immediately.
Safety Tips for Motorists
Be aware: Watch for cyclists, especially in low light or rain, before opening car doors and at intersections. Cyclists may be travelling faster than you expect.
Be patient: Slow down near cyclists and if need be, wait behind them. Pass slowly and only when it is safe. Ideally, leave a space of about 1.5 metres.
Be considerate: Cyclists sometimes need to use the traffic lane for their safety. Please give them time and space to move in and out of the lane.
Be safe: Take extra care at intersections, roundabouts and driveways, and know your blind spots.
Be predictable: Indicate your intentions in plenty of time and wait for cyclists to pass you before you turn at intersections.
When Turning Left
- Always signal and do so well in advance. A cyclist already on your left-hand side or in front of you can’t see your indicators.
- Look for cyclists on your left-hand side. If you suspect they are there, pause to let them get out of your way, especially when pulling out from a car park or at a traffic light.
- Remember that if you have passed a cyclist just before approaching a traffic signal, driveway, bus stop or junction, it is very likely they will end up on your left-hand side or just in front of you – assume the cyclist is in one of your blind spots.
On the Road
- Ride in single file to let traffic flow past.
- Make sure there is a strong rider at both the front and rear of the group – if there’s only one strong rider, then they should ride at the rear.
- Ride at a speed the slowest member of the group is comfortable with.
For more information on the Bike Wise events in your area in February, check out www.bikewise.org.nz