Sometimes the not-so-fun stuff needs to be said. We like to think of these aspects as second nature, but every now and then it is worth the friendly reminder.
More important than any training session, any race start or any result you might be aiming for, is to take the necessary measures to ensure your safety while riding.
Start with a properly functioning well-maintained bike with quality tyres, brakes and gears, all in good working order – we cannot emphasise this enough as safe equipment is the foundation for all your riding safety. Add to that a quality, well-fitted helmet that has never been crashed.
Venturing outside, you always want to make sure you have flashing lights for the front and back of your bike and keep them on, even during the day.
Always try to ride on quieter, safer roads, even if it means taking a long cut. Try to avoid using roads as a race track, and if you have efforts prescribed that will require you to go super deep, consider using your indoor trainer so your full focus can be on smashing yourself and your efforts. If you do your efforts on the road, remember to always pay utmost attention to your surroundings. Try to avoid U-turns on roads when doing repeat efforts, unless it cannot be avoided, and if making U-turns, use extreme caution.
If you choose to go riding with a group, try to ride with people you know and have contact with. Avoid riding outside your comfort zone so you can ensure the safety of everyone in the group. Check out our bunch riding tips blog for more info.
Give some thought to riding in poor weather or in the dark. Drivers and other road users will not have as good visibility, just as you won’t, so if the poor weather or nighttime riding can be avoided and you can go for the trainer instead, prioritise your safety. If you do choose to ride outside in these conditions, lights need to be bright to make sure you stay safe and seen by all other road users. Bright, visible clothing, and even reflective elements in your clothing is suggested and recommended too.
Always ride within your limits and play it safe. Do not use headphones when riding outside. Sure, pros race with an earpiece, but when they are racing there are not cars or other bunches or traffic lights they need to pay attention to, and the earpiece is proving instruction, not constant music and distraction. If you need headphones in to get your training in, train indoors!
We want everyone to enjoy the ride and get to your target events in the best shape possible. The easiest way to ensure this is by starting off with your safety.