How to Cycle Safely AND Save Money in Brisbane

August 2, 2018

in

Cycling Safety

by

Rebecca Earl

It might sound too good to be true, but it is now possible to improve your cycling skills and save money at the same time in Brisbane. This is a part of 'Cycling Brisbane', an initiative recently introduced by the Brisbane City Council. Cyclists are encouraged to join this free program that offers incentives such as discounts on food, beverages and bike servicing.  Cheaper coffee will make those early rides all the more enticing.

There are several other benefits of 'Cycling Brisbane' as well. Notably, members will have access to a range of free events, including bike skills training courses across Brisbane. The first of these courses is named 'Back on your Bike'. It is aimed as a refresher course for those who have not cycled in a while. The importance of establishing basic cycling skills is increasing, as the Brisbane City Council's 'Brisbane Active Transport Strategy 2012-2026' aims to encourage more people to choose cycling as their mode of transportation in the coming years. 

Therefore, here are some of our tips for getting back on your bike

1: Get your bike ready

You may be psyched up for your first ride in a while, but your cobweb-covered bike might not share the same sentiment. It is essential to ensure that your bike is in a suitable condition. This includes checking the tyre pressure, confirming that the wheels are secured correctly and establishing that your chain and brakes are in working order. It is also good to get into a habit of doing this before every ride.

2: Plan your route

The last thing you want is to find yourself lost and exhausted in the middle of your ride. Therefore, it pays to plan ahead. Get familiar with possible cycling routes in your area. If you are interested in staying on a bike path, these are visible through Google Maps. Also, keep your present fitness level in mind, as not to plan a route that is too long.

3: Establish your presence

When you are sharing the road with motor vehicles, it is imperative that you are seen and heard. There are plenty of cool new gadgets that can help you do just that - some of which we have previously shared. However, it is important not to ignore the basics. It is always advisable  to wear brightly coloured clothing and it is a legal requirement to have a bell or similar warning device installed on your bike. You must also have a light if you are riding at night.

4: Be confident

Now that all of your ride preparations are complete, it is time to get on your bike - and be confident! Exercising confidence as is crucial to avoid accidents while riding a bike. This involves making a conscious effort not to ride too close to curb at edge of road and to leave enough room when riding past parked cars. Additionally, try to ride in a predictable manner to avoid braking or turning suddenly.

5: Brake safely

To improve your safety and the safety of those around you, it is necessary to use your brakes appropriately. Beginners are advised to use both the front and rear brakes. Avoid slamming on the front brakes only, by applying pressure to both brake levers when required.

6: Move your hands

The use of hand safety signals is fundamental in the maintaining the safe flow of traffic. These are most relevant when attempting to turn, by alerting other road users that you are intending to change directions. But do not get too carried away - remember to keep at least one hand on the handle bars at all times! And be sure to double-check that it is safe to complete the turn before doing so. If you follow these basic steps, you should feel comfortable in getting back on your bike. Now, it is time to reward yourself with that discounted coffee!

Rebecca Earl
Rebecca Earl

UQ Law Graduate. Contributor to the Smith's Lawyers blog

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