Whether you cycle to work for convenience or for your health and wellbeing, here are some safety tips you should bear in mind when commuting to and from work or school.
Blog 3 - Safer Cycling Tips
Cycling is great for your overall physical as well as mental wellbeing, but there are always things to look out for.
Make yourself visible. Wear a high vis top, buy front and rear lights and activate them even in daylight hours.
Use the cycle lanes where possible. While motorists sometimes use these as convenient extra parking bays – and you’ll need to navigate your way around them, there are lots of cycle lanes in Sligo, especially for those commuting from places like Strandhill and Rosses Point. At various times, these cycle lanes merge onto the main road, so ensure that you clearly indicate to the traffic behind you when you want to exit the cycle lane and merge onto the main road. Don’t assume the drivers will see you, especially in poor weather, so make sure your signals are clear and unambiguous.
Wear suitable wet gear. At this time of year, you should not only be visible, but also wear appropriate wet gear. You won’t want to arrive to work or school and have to face the day in sodden clothes.
Ask your employer or school to provide safe and secure facilities for you to park your bike. Bring a lock and ensure you use it. Park your bike in a shelter if your place of work has one, and consider other cyclists may have the same idea, so keep things nice and tight and allow space for other cyclists to park up too.
Allow sufficient time. As cyclists, we all enjoy moving past cars that remain at a standstill at traffic lights. In Sligo, in particular at rush hour in the mornings or afternoons, it’s definitely easier to get around town more quickly on a bike than via any other means of transport. But don’t cut things too tight, as this can lead to forming bad habits and making mistakes. Take your time and you’ll get there in one piece.
Finally, share the road with others. You aren’t the only one trying to get from A to B on time. So, obey the rules of the road, don’t undercut traffic, or break a red light, and obey the rules in relation to traffic flow. There are a number of one way streets in Sligo, and while it’s tempting to take a shortcut, not only is this breaking the law, it’s also a danger to motorists who see a cyclist come around the bend unexpectedly against the flow of traffic.
Not to mention giving cyclists a bad name works against us all. Get there safely, allow enough time, obey the rules, save money, do your bit for the environment and get a physical work out all at the same time.