Tip 1: Increase level of visibility during the day
There is one thing which is hard to avoid: if you cycle you (also) use roads. The better you are visible for motorists, the safer you are en route – no matter whether it is day or night. During the day this is best achieved by wearing bright, fluorescent clothing. These colours reflect the sunlight and hence appear very bright in daylight. But consider this: streetlamps and headlights are not as effective as sunbeams, which means this type of clothing does not really keep you safe at night.
Tip 2: Reflective clothing during dusk
If you also plan on cycling on the road in the dark, reflective clothing will be your ‘guardian angel’. Reflective vests for instance also glow in artificial light and hence make you visible to motorists. If you want to play it safe we recommend you wear additional reflective elements on knees and elbows. That way you reduce the risk of not being seen considerably on a night tour.
Tip 3: Make sure your lights work
I bet this sounds familiar to you: after the winter break we tend to forget to check whether the lights on the bike are still working properly. And why not, since we mostly cycle in daylight. Before embarking on a longer tour however it is wise to think about the bicycle headlights. They not only increase you being seen, but also assist you to see in the darkness.
Tip 4: Give clear signals and stick to traffic rules
In order for cars or other cyclists to see that you intend to turn off, it is best to give a hand signal. Then everyone involved can react correctly and accidents can be avoided. We recommend: it is better to cycle defensively and anticipatory. Even if a motorist gets it wrong and you would have priority. As a cyclist you are unfortunately one of the ‘weaker’ traffic participants on the road.
Tip 5: Wear a helmet
Are you an expert cyclist who does not shy away from challenging cycling tours? One thing is for sure: you are confident in the saddle. Nevertheless, we advise you do wear a helmet – no matter what kind of tour you are on. It only takes an awkward breaking maneuver on a steep gravel road or another careless road user: wearing a helmet instantly protects you from more serious injuries. If you have a brain, please protect it!
Tip 6: No distraction
Please do not be distracted by using earphones and listening to music. If you join road traffic you are safer if you can hear and perceive sounds around you. Hence it is preferable to refrain from listening to music on cycle paths or roads with heavy traffic. On routes through forests, across meadows and along quiet paths listening to music is far less dangerous. Our suggestion: it is better to enjoy the pleasant quiet and the sounds of nature anyhow.
Tip 7: Safety-check your bike before the tour
New cars need to be serviced every three years, older models annually. For bikes, however, a service is not compulsory, but we highly recommend a check regardless. Before embarking on a longer tour breaks, lights, air pressure in the tyres and more need to be checked. For all of you who are no hobby mechanics: a bike service performed in a qualified specialist workshop is quite reasonable.