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Riding TIPS



If you’ve not been on a bike since you were a kid or you’ve had a few years off the bike, the following tips are designed to help you gradually increase your fitness. If your bike has been in garage for a few years you should take it to your local bike shop to make sure it’s safe to ride. You can ask them to help you adjust the seat and handle bars so that the bike fits you.

Cycling has many health benefits that can be built into your everyday life. As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can help improve and maintain good health, also reducing the risk of chronic health conditions.

When you first start cycling build up your fitness and confidence gradually:

  • Start easy and build up slowly, trying to increase your longest distance by about 10 – 20 percent each week until you reach your goal

  • As it gets easier, challenge yourself to gradually go longer, faster or include more hills

  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before, during and after the ride

  • Have a good stretch before and after each ride.

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The following are some simple techniques that go a long way toward preventing and minimising the consequences of mishaps that can happen while riding.

  • Be vigilant. We all like to be relaxed and chat with our fellow riders beside us. It’s one of the joys of riding in groups. Just don’t rely on following the person in front and for them to do the right thing. Pay just as much attention to what is going on around you as though you were on your own.

  • Ride smoothly. Avoid sudden stops, swerves or changes in direction.

  • Maintain a straight course on straight roads and paths - don't swerve about!

  • Check for yourself and indicate before you change lanes; at any time a rider or other vehicle may be beside you or behind you without your knowledge.

  • Remember that other road and path users should do as they indicate – but sometimes they don’t.

  • Look ahead and ride a line that minimises the need to swerve or brake should the unexpected happen.

  • Stay clear of car doors – at least 1 metre. Avoid riding too close to the left when approaching intersections or driveways and ride near the middle of the lane where the road is too narrow for a vehicle to pass you safely.

  • Scan the pavement ahead for raised sections, ruts, cracks or debris.

  • Plan escape routes in anticipation of the unexpected happening. You should always have at least one way out of a situation, preferably two or more.

  • Adjust your speed to the conditions. If it starts to rain, slow down.

  • Avoid cutting corners or going wide – there may be someone just behind/beside you.

  • Signal your intentions:

  • Call out ‘PASSING’ when passing other cyclists.

  • Call out ‘STOPPING’ when stopping, ‘SLOWING’ when slowing down.

  • Ring your bell when approaching pedestrians (even if they may not hear it due to ear phones)

  • If you see hazards like potholes or broken glass in your path:

  • try go around by a reasonable margin – the rider behind may not see it in time if you miss by just a few mm.

  • Call out “Hole left” or “Glass middle” to warn others of the hazard. If you can, point down to the ground on the side of the hazard, keep your elbow straight, wave your arm back and forth

  • On shared paths: Slow down, ring your bell and call out ‘PASSING’ to other path users. Try to leave at least 1 metre when passing.

  • When stopping for a mechanical or rest, do it in a spot where you can take your bike and yourself off the path.


Riding with new people

  • Many of you will already know the above requirements and etiquette, but new riders may not. If you see someone riding dangerously or blatantly breaching any road rules, please advise the ride leader or sweep of your concerns. They can raise this concern with the participant during a regroup, break or after the ride

  • Also,  please leave a bit extra space around a new rider as they may not be use to riding in a group or may not have the same skills as others on the ride.

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