Ride Safety & Bike Maintenance.
All new cyclists are very apprehensive about riding on the roads and unfortunately many of our UK motorists reinforce this feeling as they seem to be anti-cyclist ! There are however things you can do to help keep safe.
Actually ‘close passes’ and incidents do happen occasionally but not as often as you may think.
Riding safely is therefore very necessary and riding with MRC and with a group is safer than riding solo.
Ride safely by:
- Reading The Highway Code rules 59-82.
- Keep as far left as you safely can approx 0.5 metres from the kerb (Rule 72).
- Ride two abreast where safe to do so (Rule 66) Note – Although riding two abreast is safer, legal and encouraged, generally motorists do not like it, and abuse is often directed towards cyclists that do! With growing confidence you will learn when and where to position yourself on the road.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the traffic in front and behind you, and your fellow riders. Concentration is required when group riding. It is very easy to ‘touch a wheel’, or hit a pothole and end up on the deck.
- Use lights in the daytime.
- Use hand signals so other road users know what you are doing.
- MRC’s Experienced riders will call out hazards while riding and use various hand signals. You will learn these fairly quickly while group riding.
- Obey the rules of the road (Rule 69) and be courteous to other road uses and they will treat you likewise.
- A good rule to ride by is ‘Assume all motorists have NOT seen you’ until you are sure they have.
You will need to learn various skills while riding e.g Drinking from bottles and eating on the go. Road positioning, use of brakes and gears, communication etc all this will be become second nature with time and practice with MRC.
You will ride safer, ride with more confidence and enjoy your riding if you keep a clean well maintained bike.
Basic bike maintenance is essential and at the very least you should be able repair a puncture, and change an inner tube yourself. Ensure you carry the spares and tools required to make repairs, including a pump or other way to re-inflate your tyres.
The idea is to become self sufficient on your bike and be able to repair any normal mechanical issue you may have while out on a ride and not have to rely on others, or have to make the phone call of shame and ask to get picked up.
We encourage you to get to this level and MRC are here to help you do that. We have very experienced mechanics within our club riders and all problems have been encountered at some time in the past. You will quickly learn.
We have members that can only do minimal repairs, and members that can can strip down and rebuild a whole bike. Where would YOU like to be?
If you are not sure, just ask, that’s how you learn.