The ABC of bike safety. A must read for any bike rider!

The ABC of bike safety. A must read for any bike rider!

We were honoured to be asked by NSW Compensation Lawyers about how to be safer on the roads. They featured some of our tips on their blog. Here is the summary.

From what we see in the bike shop, experienced riders who prepare well, and buy the right gear stay safe and enjoy their riding the most in all conditions.

The most simple ways of staying safe are avoiding busy roads, and peak hour traffic wherever possible, obeying all the road rules, and knowing exactly where you are going before you set out so you can ride in a confident manner. Using Google Maps and selecting the bike rather than a car is a good idea. 

If you have this mastered, then we can get more technical with your preparation in what we call the ABC of bike safety

Research shows that bike riders drastically overestimate the distance at which they are detectable by car drivers. Unless we’re actively doing something to increase our detectability, we may not be seen at all. And that’s an alarming reality. The ABCs of Awareness—Always on, Biomotion, and Contrast—are presented here in a good, better, best hierarchy. Using daytime running lights is a good way to be noticed, but a combination of daytime running lights, highlighting your body’s moving parts, and choosing gear that contrasts with the environment is the best option.\

Always on
Front and Rear lights, day and night
Cycling has taken some of its best cues from the automotive industry. We can thank cars and motorcycles for suspension and disc brakes, for instance. These days, cars come standard with daytime running lights because cars with DRLs are less likely to be involved in a collision. Applying that logic to bikes is a no-brainer.

But not all lights are created equal. Even lights designed for superior brightness may not be particularly effective during daylight hours. A true DRL has a specific focus, flash, and range. Without these three things, you just have a light.

Highlight your body’s moving parts

The brain has identified ways of protecting itself, beginning with its uncanny ability to recognise a biological form with only a few clues to the form’s shape. In other words, we’re really good at seeing ourselves. This isn’t something that needs to be taught— it is an instinctual perceptual phenomenon called “sensitivity to biomotion.” On a bike, the unique up and down peddling motion is what makes you recognisable as human. At night, highlight your feet, ankles, and legs with products that feature reflective materials. During daylight, wear fluorescent socks, shoes, covers, or warmers. 

Choosing the right gear for day and night is super important. Visibility relies on contrast. Fluro colour is effective for cyclists during daylight because it helps us stand out from the surrounding environment. But without the sun, fluoro is no more effective than darker gear..

It’s amazing that it takes a team of highly trained vision experts to remind us all of this simple fact: you can’t see a thing in the dark. When it comes to apparel, fluorescent works during daylight. At night, reflective is what makes you stand out. Try and buy your seat bags, bags, panniers, backpacks