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Codes of the Road: What to Know as a Novice Road Biker

Posted on March 09, 2016 by Brooke Chaplan

cycling-2Having bought or rented your first road bike the temptation to plunge straight in by riding long miles, riding in a pack, or climbing mountains is irresistible. Or maybe you are a bit more nervous, since you aren’t sure what to expect with your first time on the asphalt. When equipped with the right road biking tips, you are guaranteed to ride better, stay stronger, go faster, get fitter, and most importantly stay safer.

Night Riding
It is inevitable that at some point you’ll find yourself riding at night or before the sun gets up. Statistics show that this increases the chances of getting into an accident. Relying on street lights is not enough. The use of headlights enable people and vehicles to notice you and you can flash your light by twitching the handlebars so as to signal approaching drivers. Make sure you have plenty of reflective material on your clothing and bike, and that your headlamp or other lights are illuminating the most road for you to see clearly.

Know Your Gears
Mechanical wonders in road biking exist in that you can accelerate along flat smooth roads at wind whistling speeds, or charge your way up a rocky climb with the use of little energy. This is possible only by practicing and internalizing on how to use and change the gears. Smaller gears allow you crank up steep inclines while bigger gears can give you the right push on a flat plane.

Use of Protective Gear
Losing balance and tumbling is all part of learning to ride. While some injuries can’t be prevented, some can, which is why putting on a protective gear is essential. Current technology has enabled new material that can protect all body parts that could come into harm. Your gear include elbow pads, gloves, helmets, knee guards, and wrist braces whenever possible.

Biking in the Rain
For cycling lovers, wet weather won’t stop you from biking. Make sure you wear synthetic underclothes which will prevent sweat from sticking to your body. A waterproof jacket will keep the water out and a waterproof backpack to keep your valuables dry. On your bike, reflectors on the rear, front, and sides will keep you visible and fenders to both wheels will prevent water from splashing up onto you.

Road Rules
Bikers should ride with traffic and should obey all traffic light color signs just like a car. When bike lanes are available, stick to them. Some states prohibit riding on highways, interstate routes, and expressways. Bountiful, Utah personal injury attorneys recommend reviewing defensive riding tips like watching cars, signaling turns and more.

As a safe road biker, you should ride predictably, obey road rules, maintain your bicycle and share road.

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