Whether you are new to cycling or an old pro here are a few pointers or reminders to help you navigate out there on the road.

DRIVERS AND CYCLISTS ARE NOT ATTUNED TO CYCLISTS

  • Accept this and move on. Motorists and pedestrians have trained their eyes to focus on vehicles. Cyclists are only secondarily noticeable to them. This will change in time but we aren’t there yet. It is your responsibility to be cautious, vigilant and obey the rules.

BE CONSISTENT AND PREDICTABLE

  • Be mindful of establishing your presence on the road. You’ve seen cyclists weaving across lanes. Don’t do it. You want to be seen. Motorists need to know what to expect so they can respond to you.

AVOID THOSE CAR DOORS

  • Pay close attention to parked cars. Is someone in the car? Are lights on? Car doors that open suddenly in a cyclist’s path can cause serious injury. Always leave enough room between your bike and a parked vehicle to prevent this.

LOOK UP

  • Remember to look where you want to go. By looking ahead you’ll be more stable on your bike, avoid the dizziness that moving pavement can cause and avoid mishaps (like those car doors) before they happen. You’ll also be able to make eye contact with drivers at busy intersections before you turn.

NEVER USE YOUR CELL PHONE WHEN CYCLING

  • This should be a no brainer but just observe all the cyclists using cell phones. You can’t cycle defensively when you are distracted. You need to have all of your senses focussed on the road at all times.

CLEAN YOUR BIKE

  • Do this weekly. You can keep on top of the small problems that can quickly turn into big ones that will cost you. Pay particular attention to your tires to spot any cuts or pieces of glass that you may have picked up. Check your tire pressure. A clean, well oiled and degreased bike will make your ride more enjoyable.

GIVE YOURSELF THE TIME TO RIDE

  • New cyclists often give up on the sport saying they have ‘no time’ to develop skills. Review your daily schedule with a critical eye. You’ll be able to identify downtime with any degree of honesty because we all have it. Cycling, like anything else you have ever learned, takes some time. Experienced cyclists need to stay active during the winter so that they are not starting behind the eight ball when Spring rolls around.

Happy cycling all. We’re fortunate to be able to cycle most of the year on the west coast. Don’t let the fall and winter crimp your style. Use the time to build up your cycling skills, and your stamina, to be ready for spring 2016!