South Africans are cycling mad, but with the number of cycling injuries on the increase, it's time to gear up on reminders about wearing proper safety equipment.
Cycling offers many fitness and environmental benefits, but it can be hazardous. Unexpected obstacles, excessive speed, and dodging vehicles or pedestrians can all contribute to bicycle crashes.
Safety tips for cyclists
In an effort to help prevent bicycle injuries, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these safety tips:
- Always wear a proper helmet that's approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). Your helmet should fit snugly and shouldn't block your vision.
- The bicycle should be the proper size for the rider. The bike needs to be properly adjusted and well maintained. Replace any broken or missing parts.
- Wear bright fluorescent colours. Try to avoid cycling at night. If you have to ride at night, make sure you have a working headlight that's visible for 500 feet and rear reflectors on your bike.
- Always be alert and scan for obstacles in your path.
- Ride with traffic and be aware of the traffic around you. Obey traffic laws.
- Don't attempt stunts on your bike and don't ride double.
- Wear appropriate footwear. Don't wear loose clothing. Use clips to keep your pants out of the bicycle chain. Dress for the weather.
Cape Town Cycle Tour cycling tips