Top rules: For the rider
1. Your safety on the road largely depends on you. For example, if you’re tired or distracted, it’s probably best to avoid riding your bike that day. Just like driving, riding requires our full attention and a commitment to keeping ourselves and others safe. Try these tips to improve your rider safety: Get a good night’s sleep. Or make sure you’re nice and alert before you get in the saddle, whether that’s thanks to a cold shower or a cup of coffee!
2. Always wear a bike helmet and the right clothes. By ‘right clothes’ we mean wind-proof, water-proof, and bright colors where possible. Add a reflective jacket, vest or sash to really improve your safety rating; and don’t forget bike lights – if you feel lit up like a Christmas tree then you’re on the right track! We want you dry, warm, and visible at all times, especially during the evenings and winter when there is often lower light and poorer visibility.
3. Drink lots of water or keep a water bottle in your bike’s bottleholder. Dehydration affects concentration, and you want to be fully alert so you can react in time if anything happens.
4. Limber up or warm up before you get on your bike. There’s nothing worse than pulling a muscle when you’ve just popped out to the shops. Just a minute or two to get your blood pumping around all your muscles and to warm up your body can prevent an unnecessary injury.
Pick a bike you feel comfortable on; your bike is an extension of you, so make sure you pick one that is perfect for you.
Momentum bikes come in a wide range of models and colors, so check out our range of bikes and e-bikes. If this is your first bike in a while, or you want a bike that’s guaranteed to be an effortless, comfortable ride, then a step-through bike could work for you.
Check out our brand new Vida low-step bike for exploring and commuting on your country site.
Top rules: On the road
Now you’re ready for the road! Being aware of your surroundings is important whether you’re on a busy city street or a sleepy country road. Moving vehicles (this includes you on your bike ) and pedestrians can be a source of danger if riding carelessly. Follow these simple tips to stay safe on the road:
1. Obey all rules of the road and swot up on them if you’re a bit rusty. The basics include stopping at traffic lights and riding within permitted speed limits. If you’re somewhere new or unfamiliar, check any local traffic rules to stay safe and possibly avoid any fines.
2. Ride with the traffic and not against it, and keep a safe distance, especially from fast-moving buses and trucks. A safe distance is usually one to two bike-lengths, or whatever distance you need to react in time. Be aware of larger vehicles and their blind spots, which are often worse when they’re turning or reversing. A good rule to remember is ‘if you can’t see the driver, they can’t see you’. Don’t ride down the inside of big vehicles between the sidewalk and the vehicle.
3. Stick to designated bike lanes and avoid sidewalks where possible. Pedestrians don’t always react the way we expect them to so it’s easier to give way to keep everyone safe.
4. Ride single file if space is restricted and during busy traffic conditions. Some cities allow cyclists to ride in rows of two, while in others it might be illegal. Check locally just in case.
5. Be sure to signal with your arm when passing other vehicles or when you’re wanting to turn left or right. Use your bell to alert pedestrians or other cyclists too. If in doubt, slow down and take more time.
Top rules: For Winter riding
Extra precautions are needed to keep safe during winter rides. For obvious reasons roads will be more slippery, days will be shorter and darker, and winds may be stronger. We won’t cover the entire list but here are seven things to keep in mind when cycling in the winter months:
1. Wear layers. Your base layer will keep you warm while your outer layer keeps you dry. It’s normal to feel slightly chilly before heading out for a ride, otherwise you’ve probably put on too many layers.
2. Pack extra safe and protective gear. Winter cycling gloves and heat packs are a must! If you’ve got room, pack extra socks and gloves in case they get wet.
3. Always check if your lights and reflectors are working properly as visibility reduces during winter months.
4. Always check your tires before a ride and take a small puncture repair kit if you’ll be somewhere remote or are riding alone. If you're fancy you could even get wider or studded tires for better grip. Don’t forget to add bike fenders (aka mud guards) to keep you and fellow riders from being sprayed with dirty slush during the ride.
5. Keep the batteries warm if you’re riding an e-bike and clean your bike after every ride. You might also want to consider spraying the bike frame and chains with water repellent to protect the bike from corrosion. It is your baby after all!
6. Always take your phone with you – and make sure it’s charged! If you ever need help this will be your quickest route to it.
7. Pack a snack. Riding in cold weather can use up more energy than normal, so pack a snack to make sure you’re not caught short – or hungry – far from home.
This list is full of helpful tips so you can feel confident when you head out on your bike – whatever the weather. Although it’s not an exhaustive list, if you keep these pointers in mind, you’ll be sure to have a great, and safe ride.
Momentum bikes come in all shapes, sizes, and functions to fit anyone’s lifestyle. Whether you’re riding to stay fit, to explore a new place, to commute to work or to run errands,. there’s a bike perfectly designed for what you need. Check out our full range of bikes today - they make great Christmas gifts, too!