Bike Commute Checklist: 10 Hazards to Watch Out For (and How to Avoid Them)

Bike Commute Checklist: 10 Hazards to Watch Out For (and How to Avoid Them)

Bike commuting saves money and is a healthy option, both for you and the environment. But there’s a lot of activity on the road, whether it’s traffic, weather conditions or other potential safety issues. In addition to paying attention to cars and buses on your city commute, here’s a checklist of 10 things to look out for when you’re on the road:



1) Car Doors

When riding along a row of parked cars, it’s important to look out for people in the vehicles who may open the door when you least expect it. Leave enough “door space” between you and the parked cars along the side of the road and keep looking ahead for people in the cars (there’s a chance they might be getting out!


2) Lines and Road Paint

Painted lines on the road are more slippery than plain asphalt, so these are important to look out for. Avoid making sharp turns or sudden moves when riding on painted surfaces of the road.


3) Potholes / Manhole Covers

Keep an eye up the road when you’re riding, being on the lookout for obstacles like potholes and manhole covers and other uneven surfaces. Important note: manhole covers can be especially slippery when it’s foggy or wet outside.


4) Rails / Trolley Lines

Crossing tracks on a bicycle requires extra caution. Narrow bike wheels can get caught between the rails and tracks can be slippery when wet. Try to cross tracks at a 90-degree angle and always look out for an oncoming trolley or train!


5) Blind Corners

Be cautious around blind corners. Even in bike lanes, sometimes obstacles like pedestrians, parked cars or trash cans can be in the middle of your lane.


6) Puddles / Fresh Rain

The ground is most slippery when it first starts to rain. Oil and grease buildup on the road can make it extra slippery for cyclists. Use caution when turning and stopping in wet conditions.


7) Changing Lanes

Pay attention to car blinkers and turning wheels that might indicate that a driver is making a right turn or changing lanes. And, as a cyclist, using appropriate signals to indicate your own lane changes will help traffic around you anticipate your move (and keep you safer).


8) Road Debris

Road debris like glass, leaves, dirt and other debris on the road can be slippery (or cause a flat tire). Pay attention when maneuvering around the debris. Be sure to signal and watch for vehicles if you need to move into a lane of traffic to move around it.


9) Distracted Pedestrians 

As cyclists, we have to be “defensive drivers” as much as possible and keep a vigilant eye up the road to stay safe. Watch out for pedestrians who may be distracted while crossing the road or stepping into the bike lane.


10) Oil on the Road

As mentioned above, motor oil can make the road slippery. Watch out for the dark shiny surfaces on the asphalt and maneuver around them when you possible. If you're unable to move around oil, avoid turning your wheel or making sudden moves while riding on that patch.

Happy riding from the team at Decathlon!


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