Cycling Safety


Cycling Safety :

You may have always heard the phrase, “Safety First” and while that is an admirable and true statement, in some situations it is more like, “Safety Forced”.

When seat belts in automobiles first became standard and law to wear them, many people scoffed at it. Now we don’t give it a second thought. When you were a child you may have argued with your parents about activities that you thought were fun but they believed were too dangerous, that they weren’t safe. Now you may be telling your own kids what’s safe and what isn’t. Funny how safety is both an objective and subjective subject.

As a cyclist, there are two aspects of cycling safety. There are the things that you can control and there are factors of being safe that you cannot but you have to account for. What you can control is your bike and your decision making. Making sure that your bicycle is well maintained  and operates well is a simple step.


More aggressive but not required is wearing a bicycle helmet and other safety equipment, such as elbow and knee pads, eyewear, and other attire. If you ride at night having easily visible lights on your bike are a necessity that can save your life. Which leads to the things that you cannot control that threaten your cycling safety.“It might be tempting to think otherwise, but the rules of the road apply to cyclists, too. Indicate when you plan to turn, and don’t jump red lights. Above all else, never overtake trucks or buses on the inside, because it’s impossible for the driver to see you when you’re in that spot. (In London, it is estimated that over half of cyclist fatalities involve trucks.) Keep a safe distance from the rider in front of you in case they brake quickly, and ride more slowly if the weather’s wet, to avoid slippery falls.” read more at


If you ride on roads then there is always a potential accident around the corner. When riding along with vehicles you should be a ‘defensive’ rider, anticipating other cars movements and protecting yourself from a collision. But many a bike rider has been caught in a no-win situation with an automobile. There are enough bad car drivers out there to add non-attentive or foolhardy bike riders to the mix.

If you ride mountain bike trails or paths or off-road, safety is just as much of a concern. Rocks, trees, and the terrain itself can cause problems. But in some ways that’s why you are there, to conquer those obstacles. Hence what you can control (equipment) is of greater concern.

Cyclists though are a different breed. Many have the opinion that you don’t know the line you shouldn’t cross until you cross it. And that is partially true. It truly is a judgment call how far you go. And part of the feeling of accomplishment comes from going beyond your normal limitations. Just make sure those limitations don’t involve potential serious injury. You should feel confident and comfortable that even in a bad situation, you can live with the consequences.

Safety should be the first thing, but it doesn’t have to be everything. Once you are safe, you are free to be all you can be. Just a moment of forethought can avoid a lifetime of regret. And really, that is what bike safety is about. Safety while riding is about protection and freedom, not limitation.

About the Author Ian

Ian is the Chief Editor here at OnlineBikesShop, a reformed Cycle Traveler... now a dedicated stay-at-home dad of a very active 5 yr old, a keen mountain biker with a passion for all types of bikes, the outdoors, and keeping fit...

Leave a Comment:

Ryan Levine says

Cycling safety is very important, and so many people don’t take it seriously. I drive in Boston, and I see bikes running around like they own the road, driving crazily and making it hard for cars to be safe! What’s worse, I’ve also seen a number of accidents where cyclists get way too cocky… you don’t want to end up like that, it’s not pretty.

    okere918 says

    Hi Ryan, thanks for your comment, care is needed from both car drivers and cyclists to make the roads safer

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