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Top Tips for Riding in Traffic
Media > Top Tips for Riding in Traffic
1. Use appropriate equipment and clothing. Use a roadworthy, correctly fitted bike. Wear an approved, correctly fitted and well maintained helmet and appropriate clothing and footwear. (That is, brightly coloured, close fitting clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions and enclosed footwear with firm, non-slip soles and any laces tucked in to avoid catching on chain or pedals).
2. Develop your cycling skills. Only ride in conditions and traffic environments that are appropriate for your level of skills, fitness and confidence.
3. Know and follow the road rules (but don’t expect that other road users will know/abide by them).
4. Plan the safest route (for your ability, traffic and road conditions, weather).
5. Be aware. Ride defensively. Regularly scan the road in front and behind and driveways/paths to the side so that you know what other road users are doing. Make eye contact with other road users to ensure that they have seen you. Beware of car doors and other road users entering or exiting the roadway or changing lanes without indicating or looking. Be prepared to manoeuvre for safety even though bicycles have equal rights on the road. Maintain a buffer between you and other road users.
6. Be predictable. Ride in a straight line, use clear hand signals to signal your intentions well in advance. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic or around parked cars.
7. Take care. Use the appropriate lane, be careful at intersections and don’t be afraid to dismount and cross intersections as a pedestrian if it is safer to do so.
8. If it’s wet. Avoid slippery, painted lines; apply brakes smoothly and well in advance; take corners more slowly and don’t lean into them, stay upright and steer with your arms not your body; avoid water channels at the side of the road and puddles and signal your intention to change direction well in advance.
9. When riding between sunset and sunrise or in poor light. Wear a reflective vest and/or reflective arm and ankle bands and use front and rear lights and reflectors that meet the Australian Road Rules.
10. Know when it’s not safe to ride. (When under the influence of drugs or alcohol or fatigued). If you need help in any of these areas contact AustCycle to find an AustCycle Provider in your area.