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By Peng You Xin

safe cycling

Photo: SportSG

Cycling has been a beloved activity of Singaporeans for a long time, and with good reason. This easy sport has been adopted by people of all ages and can be practiced in many different locations, ranging from parks to beaches. There has also been a steady increase in the number of biking routes and bicycle clubs in the country.

Whether you love riding along the scenic routes of parks like East Coast or Jurong Central Park, or if you prefer the more adventurous alternatives of Henderson Waves, you’ll find appropriate park connectors and facilities.

Nevertheless, safety should always be your priority, even when cycling in bike-friendly environments in Singapore. The following are some tips to keep in mind the next time you want to go on an enjoyable bike ride:  

What to Wear

Make sure your biking gear fits you comfortably, because any loose bits of clothing could get caught on your bike. If you’re going for a late night ride, try to wear bright clothing, so drivers can spot you on the road.

Additionally, you should purchase a helmet of good quality to protect your head in the event of an accident. Check that it fits comfortably and securely. It should remain in position without sliding around when you move.

Checking Your Vehicle of Choice

Before heading off for your ride, make sure all the parts of your bicycle are working fine by doing a quick check for any mechanical faults.

Here are a few parts you should inspect:

Wiggle your handlebar to check that it is fastened tightly and adjusted to the proper settings. Your feet should be able to touch the ground when you mount your bike. If you’re not able to, you should adjust your seat.

Be certain that your brakes are in optimal condition. You should also check for any holes or deflations in your tires because any imperfections could cause problems for you mid-ride.  

Other safety considerations include attaching a working bicycle bell onto your bike to alert anyone in your path of your presence. Additionally, you could clip on a detachable torchlight, in the event you run into low-light conditions.

Keep a Lookout on the Road

The roads can be a perilous place for a cyclist, so when you’re on the move, always remember to look in all directions and check for vehicle traffic before riding your bike across the road.

You should warn other road users that you’re coming their way with your bicycle bell or the appropriate hand signals. Besides this, you should also try to cycle in a direction opposing traffic, so you remain aware of vehicle movement around you. Stay extra alert at accident-prone areas such as road junctions.  

Drivers, fellow cyclists and pedestrians alike always appreciate good cycling etiquette. Be courteous and give way to other pedestrians. Additionally, avoid cycling in a zigzag manner or attempting dangerous stunts while on the road. Always keep both hands on the handlebars when cycling, especially at high speed.

Last but not least, enjoy the ride.

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