Lots of friends are telling me they want to start riding their bikes because it's summer! Everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sun but they just don't feel confident enough to do so on two wheel. This might seem like repeated news but the main reason most women don't feel comfortable to ride a bike is because they don't feel safe enough to ride on the road. So whether you're riding on the street or a shared cycling pathway, here are some tips to make your journey fun, safe, and enjoyable.
Plan your route
As getting lost is no fun, don’t cycle anywhere you wouldn't feel safe walking, and steer away from secluded or dimly lit areas at night. When planning your route, it’s a good idea to aim for quiet streets and cycle paths.There are lots of traffic-free cycle routes out there, which are ideal if you’re new to cycling or haven’t ridden forages and want to build up your confidence in safe surroundings. Get a bike buddy to ride with you. perhaps a friend who knows the routes and rules of the road.
Keep your bike in good shape by carrying out regular checks. It’s easier to do repairs at home or in a bike shop than at the side of the road.
A bell, lights, lock and a pump are essential accessories. Carrying a spare inner tube is a good idea just in case you get a puncture en route. Always lock your bike to reduce the risk of theft –and of leaving you stranded. If your front wheel is ‘quick-release’, try to lock both the wheel and the frame to the post or fence.
Helmets aren’t compulsory and it’s a matter of personal choice if you decide to wear one. We would, however, strongly recommend them for children.
Perhaps this weekend could be your chance to get on your bike and ride with confidence.