Cycling in the City - Tips on Bike Commuting for Beginners
Are you tired of spending hours on your commute everyday? The feeling of being stuck in traffic or waiting in line wears you down. You feel powerless, depending on undependable or expensive transport options.
Here’s one option you can try – ride a bike! Control your commute by cycling through the city. You’ll have the freedom to move on your own. You’ll save money and the environment by burning fat and not gas. Parking won’t be a problem which will allow you to stop wherever and whenever you want.
Cycling in an urban setting can be intimidating because of all the other vehicles, but once you get a hang of it you’ll feel you can just get to anywhere with your bike. Just remember to put safety first.
Here are some tips to make your ride safe and enjoyable,
5. Follow traffic rules: For everyone’s safety follow the usual traffic rules that govern all road users. These include following stop lights, not counterflowing and riding on the slow (right-most) lane. Also be aware of vehicle blind spots: when a vehicle is turning right, do not cut on its right side because you will not be seen there. The same goes when it turns left. It is advisable to stay behind and wait for it to complete the turn.
6. Secure your bike: The convenience of storing bikes is also the same reason why they’re easy to steal: smaller and can be carried away by a single person. Always bring a bike lock with you just in case you have to park your bike in a place out of your sight. Locks range from heavy duty U-locks to lighter cable locks. These can be bought from your local bike shop or hardware stores.
Helmet? Conventional wisdom requires all cyclists to wear a helmet, but this is a point of debate. These can prevent head injuries from minor crashes, but it cannot defend you against dangerous drivers and other large risks on the road. Studies have shown that adults can become more risk-taking when they see someone wearing a helmet because it is seen as a safety device. This implies that drivers may try to drive more dangerously beside a helmet-wearing cyclist.
The long term solution for riding safely is building a safer environment for bike commuters and pedestrians, coupled with convenient public transport options. But for the meantime as a bike commuter in the Philippines, ,my suggestion is if you don’t plan on riding fast, you don’t need a helmet. But if wearing one makes you feel safe and comfortable out there, then by all means use one.
We all choose our mode of transport based on our lifestyles and income. If you get stuck in one mode, there’s no harm in trying out another one that can be more convenient. We are all still traffic, some ways of getting there are just more efficient and enjoyable than others.
And once you feel the need for more comfort on your ride, check out Ciclo's latest collections!
All photos by Joseph S. Angan