FitOldDog’s Ten Cycling Safety Tips For Riding The Roads

Photo of horse waning a Honey Stinger

Stop and talk to friends along the way – this beautiful guy loves Honey Stingers, so I had better have one handy. Photo by FitOldDog.

Riding the roads is dangerous, due to traffic and other things, so load the dice in your favor.

Ten cycling safety tips:

  1. Straight bike chain photos.

    Keeping your chain straight, using wise gear combinations, front to back, will stabilize your chain, making it less likely to be thrown. Photos by FitOldDog

    Get a bike fit, because if your bike doesn’t fit, how can you concentrate on the road, or have fun? This will make or break your enjoyment of the sport.

  2. Mount bright warning lights on your bike, as they can save you from a drivers inattention or texting. I use DiNotte lights, on the advice of my triathlete son, Nigel.
  3. Use cleat covers, to (1) protect your cleats, and (2) to remind you to check your cleats are tight, as loose cleats can kill.
  4. Ride when the traffic is light, and avoid rush hour, or when high school kids are on the roads.
  5. Have a good mirror on your bike, with a wide angle view, as death often comes from behind, and if you see it coming  you just might get off into the grass in time.
  6. Keep your chain straight as you change gear. A distorted chain wears quickly, and is more likely to be thrown off the front ring, to jam at the axle or in the front derailleur. I see people with their chain on the small rings front and back all the time – the chain is bent and slack, making it a candidate for bringing your ride to an abrupt, and maybe dangerous halt.

    FitOldDog in the rising sun on his bike.

    FitOldDog in the early morning sun, as early rides can be quiet, depending where you live, and there is still plenty of wildlife to see. Photo by FitOldDog.

  7. Don’t ride alone, unless you are forced to by your training schedule, which I often am. However, when the conditions are dangerous, and I need to work out, I use my CompuTrainer, which is a great tool.
  8. Don’t save money on cheap tires. I use a puncture resistant brand, even though they are a little heavy.
  9. Carry a good tool kit and the right clothing (I always have my waterproof jacket, just in case). Be sure you know how to use your tools (which should include a torque wrench, if you have a carbon-fiber frame), and practice changing your tires. If you get a chance, have a good bike mechanic train you in bike maintenance, and tire changing. Oh! Yes! Check your tires for problems before and after every ride.
  10. Make sure your nutrition is right, always carrying backup food, including energy fuel, water, and electrolytes on very hot days.

That’s 10! There are more, I’m sure, but I’m off on a ride.

Stay safe,



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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.