Personal safety for women cyclists
Common sense safe cycling:
Carry some tools and a spare inner tube
- Choose routes away from busy roads where possible.
- Use cycle lanes where appropriate.
- On the main highway ride assertively and avoid wobbling (!)
- Give clear indications to motorists and other road users, obey lights and traffic signs.
- Do not ride on the pavement.
- When off road choose routes appropriate to your ability.
- If you go out on your own, always try to leave a note of your route (especially if going off road).
- Always carry identification with you.
- Black may be flattering, but it could also be flattening if a motorist can't see you.
- Wear bright colours during the day - there are some super outfits about designed specifically for female riders - and reflective materials at night.
- Anything that is moving is especially visible so bright socks, ankle reflectors - or reflective patches on shoes or pedals are especially good.
This is essential and a legal requirement at night so make sure you are appropriately equipped. Avoid riding at night unless absolutely necessary and then try to stick to well lit roads. Avoid dark cycle paths and off-road routes in the dark.
Other sensible precautions
- Carry a mobile phone
- Carry with you at least some roadside repair tools - and know how to use them to some degree!
- Essentials include spare inner tubes (and tyre levers) - much easier than trying to repair a puncture in the rain
- A multi-tool to tighten or refit loose bolts (your bike shop should be able to advise and show you how to use it)
- Carry a lightweight waterproof top.
Dr Auriel Forrester
Auriel is the owner of Scientific Coaching
, an accredited full-time personal cycle coach, Sport's Coach UK Senior Tutor, British Cycling Coaching Tutor, consultant to top sporting bodies such as Sport England and UK Sport, an accredited sport scientist (BASES), and former Director of British Cycling. She has achieved 4 world titles and several national medals in professional cycling and much more.
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