Going on a long distance cycling ride can be a fantastic adventure as well as a great way to raise money for a good cause. When you are cycling on a charity bike ride, you might need to ride on a motorway – but this can be a little bit dangerous if you are not aware of what you are doing.
So how do you stay safe when you are riding on the roads or the big motorways? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Choose Your Route Carefully
When you are planning out a long distance bike ride, try to choose the routes that are the safest and have fewer cars, lower speed limits and no blind corners. This might mean that you take a slightly longer route from point A to point B, but it is worth it to be safer in the long run. Try to look for motorways that have lots of room in the shoulder that you can ride on.
Follow The Traffic laws
If you want to stay safe on the road the best thing to do is to ride within the traffic laws. The rules of the road are there to protect you because they make it clear what you are going to do next. Also, if you are not following the rules of the road you can give up your right to compensation for your injuries if you are in an accident. When you follow the normal traffic pattern generally the safer and more predictable you will become.
Ride in the Right Spot
When you are riding on the motorway, you will need to ride to the side of the road. But where should you ride? Generally, the area of the road where you should be is the area where you can ride without the danger of jolts, blowouts or falls. If the road has a gravel shoulder or it is covered with trash or sand you shouldn’t ride there.
Sometimes cyclists believe that they are safer if they ride really far off to the side of the road. You might be nervous about being passed too close by a motorist or feel intimidated by an impatient driver. However, riding too far off to the side of the road can put you in danger for other reasons. You’ll find better pavement towards the centre of the road because it will be swept clean of debris by the passing cars. Also, you need to ride far enough into the lane so that you can avoid being within the blind spot of the cars. You are in danger of being in poor sightlines and you lose your escape route if you need to move out of the way when a car gets too close.
It is important to signal whenever you are turning off the road, so that the drivers know what you are doing. A lot of cyclists will give a half-hearted signal, but sometimes cars will not see this. You need to keep your arm as far out as possible which will show with confident authority your intentions. If you aren’t good at doing this, practice riding with one hand so that you can make a strong turn signal without letting your steering go wobbly.
When you are riding on a big and busy road and sharing it with cars, it is important to always be listening. Some people like to listen to their headphones when they are riding a bike, but this can be quite dangerous. It is important to pay attention to your surroundings so that you can listen out for cars before they reach you. If you hear the engine accelerating and the tires rumbling behind you, you will be aware of the vehicle before it reaches you and you can pull it over to let the vehicle pass.
These are just a few important tips that you should keep in mind when it comes to staying safe while cycling on the motorway. When you are taking part in long distance cycling rides or charity challenges, keep these tips in mind so that you can stay safe and arrive at your destination in one piece!