Staying Safe on Highly Travelled Roads

Staying Safe On Highly Travelled Roads

If you’re an avid cyclist, you know the unique euphoria that comes from the wind in your face during an exhilarating ride.

But cycling does include inherent dangers. When bikes and cars tangle on the roads, cars typically win — and the consequences can be dire for riders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2014, cyclists made up 2 percent of all injuries related to crashes and 2 percent of traffic deaths.

Before you embark on a ride in a high-traffic area, consider these important ways to protect yourself.

Make Sure You’re Visible

Woman Cyclist

Considering that cycling accidents occur most often in urban areas and between 6 and 9 p.m., visibility is key to your safety. It should go without saying that vehicles are big, heavy and have numerous blind spots, but too many cyclists fail to take precautions that can help motorists see them.

To maximize your visibility, take steps like wearing bright or reflective clothing, and install reflectors on every side of your bike. Flashing tail lights make you visible to both drivers and other cyclists, and headlights help you see the road ahead to avoid collisions with cars, fixed objects, other cyclists or pedestrians.

Don’t duck out of traffic — between parked cars or onto a sidewalk, for instance — and then dart back in. You want to make your presence known clearly to drivers at all times.

Ride Responsibly

Bordeaux, France

Drivers should share the road, but cyclists also bear responsibility for their own safety. Make sure you understand — and follow — all state and local laws and regulations that apply to riding a bike. If you follow the law and act responsibly, drivers typically will be more respectful of you in return.

Remember to:

  • Ride with traffic, ride single-file and stay as far to the right as possible.
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs.
  • Stay sober; more than 20 percent of cyclists who died in crashes in 2014 had blood-alcohol levels above 0.08.
  • Carry your belongings either strapped onto the back of your bike or in a backpack.
  • Avoid listening to music, texting or otherwise riding while distracted.

If you’re new to cycling, consider taking a course through a local bike shop, advocacy group or recreation department. By learning how to navigate in traffic, you can become a more confident and safer rider.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Knowing what is behind you, in front of you, and around you at all times plays a key role in keeping you safe on your bike. Always keep an eye out for hazards on the road — for instance, large potholes, gravel, sewer grates, parked cars, railroad tracks, speed bumps, water, snow and ice are among the many unexpected obstacles that can cause you to crash.

In addition, watch for car doors that may open suddenly. Avoid making unexpected movements, and don’t assume that drivers will yield right of way to you. Allow plenty of time and space to make any shifts in road position.

Use the Right Equipment

Cyclist

Among all the gear that cyclists use, your helmet is the most critical for your safety. Make sure you get a helmet that fits you properly and that’s made by a reputable manufacturer. In addition, be sure to check your helmet on a regular basis for any cracks, tears or excessive wear.

Always wear your helmet, even for short rides. Among bicyclists who sustain fatal injuries, fewer than 20 percent are wearing helmets, research indicates. Severe head trauma is the reason for many of the fatality cases.

Make sure your bike is the right size for your body; you’ll have more trouble keeping control of a bike that is too big. Have the brakes checked on a regular basis, and be sure to carry gear with you for fixing flats and other potential problems.

Seek Assistance if You’re Injured

After an accident while riding your bike, get a medical evaluation even if you have no obvious signs of an injury, since problems can surface later. If you do suffer an injury while riding, consider speaking with an attorney who has experience with bicycle accidents to understand your legal options.

Ultimate Guide To The Benefits Of Biking

The major part of the worldwide cities is noisy, polluted and uninhabitable. The main cause? Vehicle traffic. Traffic that literally paralyzes the vast majority of the urban centers, increases harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses and produce noise pollution, not to mention the significant economic disbursements and increasing stress level it causes.

The fact is that in the rush societies we live in we tend to use the car even for the most simple tasks, such as taking short trips to the mall or driving through the city during a warm spring afternoon, to relax after work. Most of the times we find ourselves stuck up in traffic, waiting in long queues at the traffic lights or struggling to find a parking space, but we often don’t realize how many resources we consume when choosing four wheels over more practical and environmentally friendly transportation means.

In fact, getting behind the wheel translates in spending a lot of fossil fuel, thus causing environmental pollution, spending a lot of money on fuel, thus reducing the economic availability and increasing the stress level, causing health issues and further financial loss.

For all those reasons reminded above it is essential to return to a more sober and healthier lifestyle. And the best thing to do, if using public transportation doesn’t appeal to you, is to start cycling.

Cycling has many advantages. It is healthy, accessible, fun, cheap, environmentally friendly and efficient from an energetic standpoint. If you need more reasons, read this Ultimate Guide To The Benefits Of Biking to find out why you should ride a bike instead of driving a car.

Benefits Of Biking: Health Benefits

Since the health benefits are probably the most important benefits of biking, it is clear why they are the first to talk about in this Ultimate Guide To The Benefits Of Biking. However, before talking about these benefits, we should first understand what happens to our body when riding a bike.

Cycling engages our body as a whole. Various groups of muscles are used when pedaling, and the human-bicycle system is achieved by using five contact points. First of all are the hands on the handlebars, then the feet on the pedals and then the pelvis on the saddle. The legs and buttocks, with their cyclical movement, provide the driving force, while the trunk gives the stability to both cyclist and bike. Finally, the arms and the shoulders contract to keep the position of the system.

Therefore, if you are new to cycling, you should focus on strengthening all these sets of muscles through various exercises. In fact, it is a common mistake especially among the newbies to focus on the lower part of the body alone when training before cycling. This will produce fatigue for your upper body part and the overall cycling experience will not be one of the bests.

Bordeaux, France

If you want to transform cycling into a usual activity, including to use the bike for the daily commuting and for leisure activities, you should understand that it is essential to develop all your body in a harmonic way, without focusing only on certain muscle groups.

You should also keep in mind that cycling is a resistance sport that uses the body as a whole. Cycling can be defined as a global sport because all the muscles interact between them to transmit the power to the pedals, maintain the balance, and resist against the gravity force that would make us fall. Each muscle has a determined function and understanding its activity can help you evaluate your strengths and improve your weaknesses.

So, here are the main muscle groups and how they are involved in biking.

  • Legs: as you can imagine, the legs do the dirty work. They transfer the power emitted by the muscles to the pedals and provide the moving force. Basically, when you pedal the hip joint stretches and flexes cyclically, while the knees move in a sort of elongated eight. The ankles rotate to allow the pedaling while the tight muscles are working to create the energy that will be transmitted to the pedals. The pedaling task is finalized by the calf muscles.
  • Neck, shoulders, and arms: often forgotten, the neck muscles are exposed to a lot of tension while cycling, as they maintain the position of the head. Without proper workout, the neck muscles suffer and often stiffen while trying to overcome the gravity force. For this reason, many cyclists complain about neck pain. The shoulders, on the other hand, bear the weight of the head and neck, providing stability when pulling the handlebars. Finally, the arms operate the steering and provide stability as well. They also absorb the vibrations transmitted by the front wheel.
  • Chest, abdomen, and back: most of the times the chest muscles are contracted to support the effort of the arms and of the shoulders and to maintain the balance, especially while riding uphill or during sprints. For this reason, even if it might not seem so, the chest muscles are always active when cycling. The abdomen muscles are also involved in maintaining the balance, together with the back muscles. However, you should know that the back muscles are also involved in achieving the pedal movement, therefore it is essential to have strong abs to sustain the stability. If the back muscles get overloaded, you may face unpleasant consequences. The lumbar muscles are also very important in achieving balance and stability.

As you can see, almost all the muscles are involved in the cycling movement, therefore it is clear why bike riding is so benefic for the overall health.

However, bicycle use is not the same for everyone. Different cycling styles use the muscles in slightly different ways. Whether you ride your bike on the roads, on dirt paths and mountain routes or if you are a touring cyclist, you should find out how your muscles will be used.

  • Bike racing: the philosophy that stands behind bike racing is simple: ride the bike at maximum speed for various miles. Seen under a physical-mechanical point of view, bike racing or road cycling is the one that takes the most advantages of the closed kinetic chain of the moving force. By using the muscles in a rhythmic way you will notice decreased levels of fatigue on flat surfaces, but increased levels on the uphill and downhill roads. In fact, while going up and down the muscles start producing lactic acid and for this reason, many road cyclists prefer riding the bike without standing on the saddle while climbing on ramps. On the other hand, to maintain an aerodynamic position on the bike, cyclists put their back under a lot of pressure.
  • Off-Road Cycling: in the case of the off-road cycling the riding style changes completely and the muscles are also used in a different way. On a bumpy terrain, the cyclists are constantly trying to maintain the stability and balance. This put a lot of pressure on the abs and back muscles, muscles that are normally used to maintain the balance of the body in almost any situation. The legs muscles are also put under a lot of effort because of the constant change in the terrain’s characteristics. The changing movement finally impacts on the knees, diminishing blood flow and increasing fatigue. The chest muscles, the arms and the shoulders work hard to maintain stability and absorb the vibrations transmitted by the bumps on the terrain. Therefore, the hands and the arms also work a lot during off-road cycling.
  • Utility/Touring Cycling: this category actually refers to those cyclists that ride both on and off roads, being basically hybrids of the two categories described above. However, the cyclists in this category typically don’t reach the speed of the road cyclists and don’t face the technical difficulties of the off-road cyclists. The back feels less fatigue in this case, thanks to the raised position of the body, while the upper part of the body struggles less to maintain the balance. However, the cyclists in this category usually use the bike on a daily basis, mainly in crowded towns and in many cases in heavy traffic conditions. This cause them to stop many times while commuting and this has a major impact on the hip muscles.
Girl On Bike With Training Wheels

Keeping in mind the information above, you will be able to decide which muscle groups need more workout and how to maintain the good fitness of your body. However, as you can see, cycling has a huge impact on all the body muscles, helping you maintain your health through regular workout.

In addition to all the benefits given by the movement, cycling has many other health benefits worth mentioning. Here are some of the most important:

Stress Reduction

Cycling lowers stress and diminishes the symptoms of depression. As all the other sports, cycling stimulates the endorphin production. This hormone reduces the fatigue and pain and has a positive effect on the mood. On the other hand, riding a bike boosts the energy and improves the mental state, therefore those who practice cycling regularly not only maintain their body fitness but they also seem to be younger than those who don’t practice any sport at all. Lastly, cycling is an outdoor activity that keeps you in contact with nature, thus it can further reduce stress.

Weight Control

Cycling is indicated for those who want to lose weight or just keep their current one. How many calories are burnt during a cycling session depends on how you pedal and for how long, but if you maintain a good rhythm you will probably be able to burn as much as 500 calories per hour. However, if you want to achieve a good result in terms of weight loss and control, you should ride the bike regularly. Keep in mind that only with a regular physical activity and with a correct nutrition you will be able to lose weight.

Keeps You Fit

Cycling will help you maintain the muscles tone, including calves, buttocks, and lower back muscles. Furthermore, you will also strengthen the back muscles involved in maintaining the posture, therefore the spine will also benefit from this sport. Actually, because of the particular position that one must maintain while cycling, the sport is indicated to those who suffer from spine affections such as low back pain.

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75 Most Bike Friendly Cities In The World

Cycling is my passion. I love to ride my bike on my way to work, when going shopping or in my spare time. I definitely love cycling while in vacation too. Unfortunately, not all the cities in the world can be defined as bike friendly.

In the attempt to discover which are the most bike friendly cities to explore, I put up a list of real two-wheel paradises that are worth visiting.

So, if you have a passion for cycling (and you probably do since you’re reading this blog), here are the 75 most bike friendly cities in the world where you can enjoy a safe ride.

1 Copenhagen, Denmark

Considered the most bike friendly city in the whole world, Copenhagen boasts about 250 miles of designated bike lanes, not to mention the Cycle Super Highway, a project of 26 bike lanes that will connect the capital with the nearby towns.

To bring the cycling experience to a whole new level, the municipality will also build many amenities along this highway, including air pumps and traffic lights that will be timed considering the average cycling speed.

2 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is synonym with bike riding, the city boasting more bicycles than inhabitants. In the beautiful capital of the Netherlands, the bicycles are used by the locals for the daily commuting and by the tourists who want to explore the city with ease or during city tours.

And while Copenhagen is considered the most bike friendly city in the world, Amsterdam boasts almost 500 miles of bike lanes and 25 bike parking garages.

3 Utrecht, Netherlands

Netherlands is one bike friendly country, and it boasts many other beautiful cities that can be explored by bike. Utrecht is one of them and the city aspires to become the most bike friendly city in the world.

To achieve this status, the municipality invests in bike sharing systems and it prioritizes the construction of bike lanes.

4 Strasbourg, France

Probably the most bike friendly city in France, Strasbourg not only has over 300 miles of bike lanes that connect the city’s center to the outskirts, but it also boasts one of the most innovative bike sharing systems in the world.

In fact, if you’re visiting with the kids, you should know that the bike sharing system also provides bikes with child seats, an element that is missing from almost all the other bike sharing systems in the world.

5 Eindhoven, Netherlands

In Eindhoven biking is not only about the activity but it’s about art too. In fact, this small town has one of the most beautiful bike lanes in the world, where you will be able to have a night ride enjoying Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” glowing from the path.

In addition to the mesmerizing path, the Bike dispenser and the Floating Roundabout are two more reasons to include this city in the list.

6 Malmö, Sweden

With over 300 miles of bike lanes, Malmö truly is one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. 28 crossroads are equipped with sensors that alert drivers of the presence of the close-by cyclists and along the cycling paths there are installed air pumps and various tools that can be used if you experience any issues with the tires.

7 Nantes, France

An efficient bike sharing system, about 250 miles of bike lanes and an investment of about 40 million euros in cycling infrastructure made Nantes one of the most bike friendly cities in the world.

In addition, by hosting the Velo-City Bicycle Conference in 2015, Nantes really made it to the top.

8 Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Still in France, another bike friendly city worth mentioning is Bordeaux. The city remarked itself thanks to the effective bike sharing system in addition to some infrastructure developments that made the traffic more cycling-friendly.

To make the city more attractive in the eyes of the bike-loving tourists, the municipality also advertise its bike friendly tours and routes.

9 Antwerp, Belgium

While Antwerp has always been a bike friendly city, the investments in the last years transformed it into a true paradise for the cyclists. The modern bike lanes are not only wide, but they are completely segregated from traffic, making cycling a great way to visiting the city.

If you don’t want to bring your own bike, there are many bike rental shops or you can use the bike sharing system.

10 Seville, Spain

Unlike most of the cities mentioned above, Seville doesn’t have a long bike-infrastructure history. Nevertheless, the municipality chose to invest in bike paths and in a bike sharing program, a decision that transformed the city into a cycling oasis.

To confirm the bike friendly spirit of the city are the numerous bike city tours offered by many tour operators and local guides.

11 Barcelona, Spain

A maze of bike lanes and paths, a bike sharing system and infrastructures designed specifically for cyclists make Barcelona another Spanish city that welcomes all those who have a passion for environmentally-friendly riding.

There are many scenic bike paths from where to enjoy the charm of the city or you could simply sign up for a bike tour during your visit.

12 Berlin, Germany

Built on a flat terrain and counting many interesting sights, Berlin is another bike friendly city worth mentioning. It has about 560 miles of bike paths and there are numerous bike tours you can take if you want to explore the city while enjoying your favorite sport.

13 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Designated a European Green Capital in 2016, Ljubljana boasts over 125 miles of bike lanes and paths. Residents and tourists can benefit from the city’s bike sharing system and the rather small dimensions of Slovenia’s capital will allow you to visit the city by bike without the help of a tour guide.

14 Buenos Aires, Argentina

One of the most bike friendly cities outside Europe is Buenos Aires, a city that shows us that even in South America there is hope for the urban biking to develop. In fact, Argentina’s capital boasts about 90 miles of bike paths, while the municipality is working on reducing street traffic by improving the public transportation system.

In addition, tourists can also use the city’s efficient bike sharing system.

15 Dublin, Ireland

Even if not everyone agrees, Dublin is another bike friendly city where you can practice your favorite sport in all peace. The city has over 100 miles of bike lanes and paths, including off-road tracks and bus lanes that can be used by cyclists too.

If you’re just visiting, you can join one of the many guided tours or benefit from the city’s bike sharing program.

16 Vienna, Austria

Even if the Viennese bike sharing system is not one of the bests, Vienna is still one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. The city boasts over 700 miles of bike lanes and paths, while the Vienna Woods located on the outskirts of the capital are a true paradise for the bike lovers.

17 Paris, France

Paris not only boasts one of the largest bike sharing programs in the world, but it also has relatively flat roads and a slow traffic that make the French capital a remarkable bike friendly city. The municipality also invested in new bikeways, while the whole city is becoming greener and greener.

18 Minneapolis, Minnesota

With a growing network of bikeways, Minneapolis is one of those cities that invest in bike friendly infrastructure in the attempt to increase the quality of life in the metropolitan area. And even if the cycling mecca of North America is still considered to be Portland, Minneapolis is one step away from claiming the title, being the first American city included in the Copenhagenize Index of the most bike friendly cities in the world.

19 Hamburg, Germany

Even if the cycling infrastructure in Hamburg is considered rather weird, the city boasts over 1000 miles of bike path and lanes and an effective bike sharing program. The fact that the bike riding is part of the city’s culture is also confirmed by the successful attempts to include cycling into the tourism schemes.

20 Montreal, Canada

With almost 400 miles of bike paths, Montreal is another city to consider if you want to enjoy a pleasant bike ride in your free time or while commuting to work. Along the bike paths, there are many food and drink stands and a bike festival is hosted every year in the city.

21 Tokyo, Japan

In a country known for the quality of its bikes, there is no doubt that the capital is a bike friendly city. In fact, if you plan on visiting Tokyo, know that you will be able to enjoy many wonderful bike paths and cycling tours.

If you consider moving to Tokyo, you should know that many locals use bikes for the daily commuting.

22 Munich, Germany

Probably the most bike friendly city in Germany, Munich boasts an excellent cycling infrastructure, including modern bikeways, bike parking garages and a bike sharing program. Bikes can be easily transported by train or underground and cycling maps are available online.

The local council’s website also offers indications on where to find bike rental and repairing shops or about the organized city tours.

23 Nagoya, Japan

Nagoya’s municipality got inspired by the Copenhagen’s extensive cycling system, so they built protected bike lanes of their own, transforming the wealthy city in a cycling paradise. Strategically located in the middle of the country, Nagoya could be a great starting point for a cycling vacation in Japan.

24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

South America is not known as one of the most bike friendly regions in the world, but Rio de Janeiro is an exception. With a brand new bike sharing system that counts over 600 bicycles, residents and visitors can roam the bike paths of the city or take lovely trips on the beach avenues.

The best part is that with less than 3 bucks you will be able to buy a monthly pass and have unlimited access to the bikes.

25 Budapest, Hungary

In Eastern Europe, Budapest is one of the most bike friendly cities you could visit. There are about 124 miles of cycling paths that go through the city center or around the beautiful parks.

If you don’t want to visit the city on your own, you can simply join one of the many guided tours.

26 Groningen, Netherlands

Copenhagen may be considered the most bike friendly city on the planet, but the truth is that Groningen is taking the bike friendly concept to a whole new level. Heated bike lanes, traffic lights that give priority to cyclists in the rainy days and a growing infrastructure are only a few of the projects that will transform this Dutch city in a model for the whole world.

27 Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara may be missing infrastructure, but both the municipality and the locals are putting effort into transforming the Mexican city in a bike friendly destination.

In fact, many major streets and avenues are closed to motorized traffic every Sunday and many other activities encourage cycling in the city.

28 Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Considered one of America’s cycling meccas, Portland’s municipality decided to transform the city into a bike friendly place. Therefore, the cyclists can access free safety information and benefit from the public bike rental system and other amenities, such as bike lockers and more.

In addition, there are also free printed city maps designed to help tourists visit the city by bike.

29 Stockholm, Sweden

Despite the rather cold climate, Stockholm is one of those cities with a rich cycling culture. There are many bike lanes and paths that go over the city’s bridges and parks and many tourists and locals consider cycling in the city a winter activity as well.

30 Helsinki, Finland

With a strong cycling culture, Helsinki can definitely be considered a model by all those cities that aspire at becoming more bike friendly. The Helsinki area boasts over 2400 miles of dedicated bike tracks and in the whole country bike lanes are built next to the major streets and highways. That really is a green way to go!

31 Assen, Netherlands

The Netherlands is well-known for its bike friendly attitude and Assen is not an exception. In fact, the bike lanes in the city are wide and smooth, on many roads motor-equipped vehicles can be used in a limited manner and the cyclists have priority on the majority of the streets.

32 San Francisco, California

The second most bike friendly city in America, San Francisco, welcomes the cyclists with over 200 miles of bike lanes, numerous bike parking racks and garages and with many other cycling facilities. There is also a bike sharing program in the city, while the local cycling culture is slowly growing.

33 New York, New York

New York is another American city that aspires to become bike friendly for both locals and tourists. In addition to many miles of bikeways, you will also be able to use the bike sharing program and the cycling facilities.

Many parks prohibit motor vehicles use during certain hours and on the weekends to promote cycling.

34 Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is mostly known for its rich automotive history. Nevertheless, in the recent years, the city faced a renaissance towards cycling. Not only the locals are putting a lot of effort into turning their city greener and more bike friendly, but the municipality promotes cycling for tourist purposes too.

In fact, there are many cycling tours you can join and there is even a 5,5 miles bike path loop that goes past many historical monuments and attractions.

35 Cincinnati, Ohio

The municipality of Cincinnati is also putting a lot of effort into transforming the city into a bike friendly destination. The city boasts over 23 miles of bikeways, including family-friendly trails, and over 230 miles of roads were modernized to become more bike friendly.

The commuters start preferring cycling over other transportation methods and cycling facilities are being installed in many neighborhoods.

36 Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch might not be in top ten most bike friendly cities in the world, but it definitely is the most bike friendly city in New Zealand. There are 13 major cycling routes, a well-developed cycle safety system, and the municipality is promoting both commuting by bike and the recreational cycling. ()

37 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

435 miles of bike lanes, numerous scenic bike paths, a boardwalk on which you can ride your bike over Schuylkill river and an excellent bike sharing program are just a few elements that make Philadelphia a bike friendly city.

If that’s not enough for you, know that many cycling events are hosted regularly in the metropolis.

38 Boulder, Colorado

With a population that love the outdoor activities, it makes sense that Boulder is one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. There are about 300 miles of bike paths and lanes and the bikes can be registered in an anti-theft program so you can have no worries while visiting.

39 Austin, Texas

Another bike friendly American city to visit is Austen, a city that boasts numerous paths and hundreds of bike racks. The city’s bike shops offer cycling maps to the tourists while four major bike paths help cyclists navigate through the downtown.

40 Salzburg, Austria

Considered the most bike friendly city in Austria, Salzburg boasts over 100 miles of bikeways, including 23 scenic routes throughout the city. Cyclists will be able to leave their bikes in one of the 5500 bike parking spaces and use the self-service stations that offer free tools and compressed air pumps.

If you don’t want to bring your bike, there are many bike rental shops or agencies that offer bike tours of the city.

41 Chicago, Illinois

Recently nominated the most bike friendly city in America, Chicago impresses cyclists with over 200 miles of bikeways, including a 23-mile long trail along lake Michigan. Bike facilities include over 10000 bike racks and sheltered parking garages, and the municipality plans to further develop the infrastructure by building additional bike lanes in the densely populated areas of the city.

To welcome cycling lovers, bike friendly accommodations will also be built in the proximities of the Chicagoan.

42 Munster, Germany

Munster is a city that many would define as a cycling paradise. Many local commuters prefer cycling over other transportation means and there are almost 300 miles of bikeways in the city. The infrastructure includes many bike parking areas and a lot of bike rental points.

Tourists should know that Munster is the heart of Munsterland Cycling Region, a network of over 2500 miles of bike paths and that the area is rich in facilities such as bike friendly accommodations, bike rental and service shops and a bike navigation system.

43 Ghent, Belgium

Ghent, as most Belgian cities, is definitely a bike friendly destination. There are numerous bikeways that go through the city, many bike rental shops and a lot of bike friendly hotels.

Belgium is itself a bike friendly country, therefore there are many bike paths that go through the countryside and a bike trail that links Ghent to Bruges, another bike friendly city worth mentioning.

44 Prague, Czech Republic

Eastern European cities are often shadowed by the Western European ones when it comes to the cycling reputation. Nevertheless, Prague is one of those cities that put a lot of effort into becoming a bike friendly destination.

There are about 620 miles of bike lanes and paths through the city and the Czech capital also boasts a bike sharing program that will allow you to rent a bike for one day, one week or even for a whole year.

45 Oxford, United Kingdom

As most of the British cities, Oxford has a Victorian layout, including narrow roads that are not known as the most bike friendly in the world. However, Oxford is one of those cities that struggle with success to become more and more bike friendly for locals and visitors.

To achieve this goal the municipality invests in cycling infrastructures and offer update maps of the cycling routes.

46 Perth, Australia

Bike friendly but missing real infrastructure, Perth is one city where cycling is part of the local culture. Bike commuting is quite popular while tourists can enjoy the scenic pathways. The city also boasts many cycling amenities, including bike lockers and parking areas.

47 Nice, France

Nice is not only a lovely city located on the coast of France, but it is a true cycling paradise, boasting 78 miles of bikeways, an excellent bike sharing system, over 8000 bike parking spots and garages and a network of bike friendly accommodations.

To make everything even more friendly for the cycling tourists, all the bike friendly facilities are signed with “Charte Accueil Alpes-Maritimes à Vélo”.

48 Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is not one of the cities that boast impressive bike friendly infrastructure, but its rather flat terrain and the municipality’s effort in making the city bike friendly pay off. There are many bike lanes in Geneva, bike specific traffic lights in some junctions and a local awareness for this popular commuting method.

49 Davis, California

From all the bike friendly cities in the world, Davis should be considered a real example of true bike friendliness. This small city brags with having more bikes than cars and has bike lanes on almost all major streets.

Local people are real bike lovers and Davis is one city that boasts the presence of two full-time employed bike coordinators.

50 Ottawa, Canada

373 miles of bikeways and an established cycling culture are waiting for you in Ottawa as well. The Canadian capital is considered one of the most bike friendly cities in the world and besides a thick network of bike lanes, path and scenic trails you will also be able to visit the parks in your own peace each Sunday, as the streets are closed to motorized traffic.

51 Beijing, China

Although it doesn’t seem so, Beijing is considered the most bike friendly city in the whole Asia. Even if the motorized traffic is still used by many commuters, the city boasts a lot of bikeways that cover almost all the roads and streets of the Chinese capital.

In addition to the wide network of bikeways, there are also many bike repair and rental shops.

52 Cape Town, South Africa

In South Africa, Cape Town is one city that remarks itself when it comes to bike friendly localities. The city has almost 250 miles of pedestrian and bikeways and tries to bring awareness by using a color code to differentiate the bike lanes from pedestrian paths and traffic lanes.

From a touristic point of view, Cape Town promotes a few guided tours and has a plan on bike sharing system to put in place.

53 Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá is a model of bike friendliness in the Latin America, boasting many miles of safe bikeways and an increasing culture towards cycling. Regular events that promote this sport are only meant to increase awareness and attract bike lovers from all over the world.

54 Mannheim, Germany

Western Europe already accustomed us with its environmental-conscious attitude, so there is no wonder why Mannheim is considered to be one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. This tiny German town boasts miles of bike paths and lanes and the town itself is part of a national cycling route along the Rhine.

55 Washington, DC

Washington DC

Washington, DC and more precisely the metropolitan area of Washington which comprises the cities of Alexandria and Arlington as well, is extremely easy to navigate by bike. This, combined with the excessive traffic, make the capital a really bike friendly destination.

There are a bike sharing system, thematic routes, and guided tours, all thought to make Washington appealing to all bike lovers.

56 Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis is another of those “car friendly” cities that strives to become greener and more bike friendly. To achieve this, the municipality is investing in new bikeways and promotes a few cultural paths that lead bike lovers through the city’s impressive sights.

57 Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City really cares about the life quality of its inhabitants and puts real efforts into making cycling a part of the local culture. To do this, the municipality built miles of bike lanes that fit the existing streets, including shared lanes, implemented a green bike sharing program and plans to build protected intersections for bikes.

58 Cambridge, United Kingdom

Cambridge doesn’t boast modern bike lanes or real cycling infrastructures, but its small dimensions and a large number of bike owners make it one of the most bike friendly cities in Britain. Cycling is part of the local culture and the city is planning to launch a bike sharing program in March 2017 for locals and visitors.

59 Bologna, Italy

Italy is not one of the most bike friendly countries but Bologna stands out. This is one of the first cities in the world that adhered to the bike sharing idea, implementing a bike sharing program in the city.

Bologna also boasts a bike parking garage where you will be also able to repair your bike if needed or rent one if you didn’t bring your own. However, keep in mind that all the bikes left unattended in the city will be confiscated and sold at a public auction.

60 Bern, Switzerland

Bern, as many other Swiss cities and towns, has a strong cycling culture. And there is more than one reason why you should put this place on your travel bucket list. Besides stunning landscapes and many spectacular trails, Bern’s old city is a preserved UNESCO heritage site.

To make your experience even more bike friendly, in Bern region many hotels and B&Bs offer bike friendly accommodations.

61 Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham boasts a few miles of bikeways, a few scenic bike trails, and a rather low car traffic, three characteristics that define the city as one of the most bike friendly in the world. In addition to these characteristics, depending on your cycling preferences, you will be able to choose from riding through the city, enjoying the countryside or attend biking events.

To make things easier for both locals and tourists, the municipality publishes a biking map that indicates the best routes.

62 Singapore, Singapore

Singapore is one of those places where the cycling culture is expanding. To promote cycling as a daily mode of transport rather than a leisure activity the municipality constructs bike lanes and facilities along the main roads.

63 Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is located on an almost flat terrain, its geographical characteristics and ordered traffic explaining why so many locals prefer commuting by bike.

To make the city appealing for bike lovers worldwide, an organization also offer cycling tours and general cycling information to visitors.

64 Kaohsiung, Taiwan

In a country famous for traffic chaos, Kaohsiung is the proof that a city can be bike friendly no matter where it is located. Considered the most bike friendly city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung boasts 93 miles of bikeways and a functional bike sharing system that can be used by both locals and visitors.

65 York, United Kingdom

York is probably the city that shows that in one way or another Britain is a bike friendly country. The city boasts many off-road bike paths and on-road bike lanes, many bike parking facilities and an innovative Park & Ride system that basically allows you to park your car in the designated areas and continue the journey by bike.

If you want to park the bike instead of the car, the Park & Ride parking areas are equipped with secure bike lockers too. With the initiative to reduce car traffic and pollution, Park & Ride also offers car sharing and bus services.

66 Basel, Switzerland

The cultural capital of Switzerland is one of those places to visit if you’re looking for a city to explore by bike. There are many designated bike lanes and cycling facilities such as bike parking garages, while the compact city center is great for exploring while cycling.

67 Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is another Canadian bike friendly city worth mentioning in this list. There are many miles of bike paths and lanes, including bike boulevards, separate lanes that go through the downtown and distinct routes that cross one of the main bridges.

For those who love exploring a city by bike, Vancouver boasts a 14-mile scenic bike path that goes along the ocean and pass by popular sights.

68 Graz, Austria

Graz can also be defined as a bike friendly city, having an impressive number of bikeways and a pro-cycling policy. In many zones of the city, cycling is allowed on pedestrian zones and the municipality encourages bike commuting by organizing many cycling events throughout the year. (http://www.bikecitizens.net/bike-policy-in-graz-on-the-road-to-soft-mobility/)

69 Osaka, Japan

Osaka doesn’t boast miles of bike lanes. It doesn’t have a modern infrastructure or a bike sharing system. Yet, it is considered to be one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. This is mainly because it is located on an almost flat terrain and the traffic is well-organized.

The Japanese culture influences a lot the cycling spirit of the residents and many tour guides organize tours of the city by bike.

70 Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide is one of those cities that stand out when it comes to the cycling culture. The city has only a few designated bike lanes, but the street etiquette and a free bike sharing program attract cyclists from all over the world.

If you want to explore the city by bike, the local council offers a series of free brochures with routes and trails you can take.

71 Melbourne, Australia

If you love cycling, then you will most likely love Melbourne. The local council is investing in building new cycling infrastructures and a few scenic trails will take you through the city at the discovery of the most popular sights.

72 Trondheim, Norway

One of the most bike friendly cities in the world, Trondheim is a sort of pioneer when it comes to cycling infrastructure. It not only has three miles of bike lanes that go through the city’s center but it boasts the first (and only) bike lift in the world.

Despite the cold climate, the municipality is promoting cycling as a commuting method and leisure activity, encouraging everyone who is above 12 years old to use a bike to explore the city.

73 Pardubice, Czech Republic

If you’re dreaming about a romantic vacation in a place where time seems to stand still and where locals seem to use only bikes when commuting, then you should probably consider Pardubice as your next travel destination.

This lovely Czech town has a lively cycling culture and you will not only see people riding bikes on every street but also a lot of posters promoting the activity.

74 Dresden, Germany

Dresden is another of those jewel towns that invite you to explore them while riding a bike. There are many scenic routes that cross the city and that go by the main sights. Alternatively, you could explore the countryside by bike.

Regardless of your choice, the low traffic and tranquil way of life simply make this town one of the most bike friendly places in the world.

75 Avignon, France

The last to be included on our list is Avignon, a lovely little French town. As many other cities in the country, Avignon has a strong cycling culture and numerous cycling facilities.

There are a bike sharing system, a map that will show you all the spots from where you can pick up a bike, many bike rental and repair shops and many tour guides offer cycling guided tours.

Which of those cities have you already visited? Do you know other bike friendly cities you would like to add to the list?

If you want to share your cycling experiences with us, or if you want to add any other place to this list of 75 most bike friendly cities in the world, just leave a comment below. And share this article with your friends. They might enjoy it too!

Learning To Ride A Bike: The #1 How To Guide For Kids and Adults

Riding a bike is good both for the body and for the mind. Nothing compares to the sensation of liberty and satisfaction given by cycling, the sport being also environmentally-friendly and cheap. There are zero carbon dioxide emissions, zero fuel consumption and zero road taxes to pay. Cycling can successfully replace going to the gym and it will even save you time in traffic. But to take advantage of all these benefits you first have to learn to ride a bike.

On the other hand, you might be a parent who is wondering how to teach a child to ride a bike.

It doesn’t matter in which of the two categories you fall, this article is written for you. The first part will focus on teaching kids to ride a bike, while the second part is dedicated to learning to ride a bike as an adult.

Teaching A Child To Ride A Bike

When it comes to teaching a child to ride a bike, most parents remember how they learned to ride a bike when they were kids. The first thing that comes to mind is a rusty tricycle or a bicycle with training wheels. Writing this words, I remember the emotion felt when I learned how to ride a bike as a kid. Things were different back then, and learning to ride a bike was an awfully long process.

But things have changed over the years. Modern parents can use many new tools when it comes to teaching their children how to ride a bike. Nevertheless, there are also many parents who still believe that the best way is to give the child a bike with training wheels.

For this reason, I decided to write a guide on how to teach a child to ride a bike with training wheels and how to teach a child to ride a bike without training wheels. But before discussing the methods, let’s see how to choose the right bike for a child.

How To Choose The Right Bike For Your Child

On the market, there are hundreds of bikes for children. With so many models, dimensions and accessories to choose from choosing the right one for your child might be confusing. Beginning with the aesthetics, we can distinguish between bikes for girls and bikes for boys, bikes with designs inspired by cartoon characters or in different colors and patterns.

However, leaving the aesthetic aspect apart, there are many other important aspects to consider before deciding which bike to buy.

The first and probably the most important thing to determine is the size of the bike. To determine the right size you don’t have to consider the age of the child, but his height. Ideally, you should choose a bike with an adjustable saddle and handlebar, especially for the young children. Keep in mind that children grow fast, so if you don’t want to fully replace the bike every few months, this aspect is essential.

You should know that the bicycle manufacturers use indicative tables that rapport the height of the child to the dimension of the wheels. For this reason, it is quite easy to choose the right size of the bike for your child. Here are the most common child bike sizes:

Child Height Wheel Size
2’11’’ – 3’7’’12’’
3’7’’- 4’0"16’’
4’0" – 4’5’’20’’

I emphasize once again the importance of choosing a bike with an adjustable saddle and handlebar. The child should be able to touch the ground with the feet in order to maintain the balance and to hold the handlebar while maintaining a correct body posture. While pedaling, the position of the child should be natural and he should be able to cycle without too much effort.

When it comes to the accessories, there is a wide choice and deciding which accessories are truly useful is not always easy. Here are a few accessories you might want to consider.

  • Training wheels: even if nowadays a child can be thought to ride a bike without training wheels, some parents might just feel that they are useful. So, if you believe that your child really needs them, you should choose a bike that allows you to easily attach them.
  • Mudguards: you should choose a model with both front and rear mudguards. The reason is simple: one of the favorite activities of children is that of passing with the bike through puddles. Be honest, you actually enjoy it too.
  • Lights or reflectors: essential accessories if the child likes to cycle in the evenings.
  • Storage basket: this is not an essential accessory, but it is extremely useful. Kids can use it to carry the backpack, toys or other objects they like to carry around.
  • Water bottle: an extremely useful object, as the children usually drink more while performing physical activities.
  • Protective helmet: I believe it is useless to say how important this accessory is. Pay attention to choosing a helmet that is approved.

Lastly, since we talk about bicycles for children, it is also important to choose a bike your child will like. There are many models to choose from, so you can decide between choosing one decorated with his favorite characters or simply a beautifully colored one.

Now, let’s see how to teach a child to ride a bike.

Learning To Ride A Bike With Training Wheels

Girl On Bike With Training Wheels

Learning to ride a bike with training wheels is one of the oldest training methods. Many experts discourage the use of training wheels, claiming that they only slow down the learning process, but you might find that your child will feel safer when using the training wheels, especially if he or she used a tricycle before passing on to a two-wheeler.

You will need:

  • A suitable child bike
  • Training wheels
  • Adequate equipment for the child: helmet, knee and elbow protection pads.
  • Time

Procedure:

  •  Teaching a child to ride a bike begins before the child will actually get on a bike, with appropriate psychological training. You will have to encourage the child to try cycling by showing him how much fun he can have on a bike. To do this, you should show your child how you ride your bike and take him on the bike with you each time you can. You should pay attention to wear a helmet each time your child sees you riding and have him wear a helmet too when you take him on the bike.
  • Once your kid gets curious enough, it is time to buy a suitable bike, a pair of training wheels and to choose an appropriate spot. This can be a quiet street, a park or your backyard. However, make sure that the terrain is fairly flat.
  • Attach the training wheels to the bicycle, following the instructions that come with the product.
  • Equip the child with the safety gear even if you don’t feel that is needed. This step is essential as it will teach your child the importance of using safety equipment.
  • Help the child mount on the bike in the correct way and show them how to seat on the saddle. Pay attention to adjust the height of the saddle in a way that allows the child to touch the ground with the feet while seated.
  • Go behind the bike and place your hand under the saddle. Encourage the child to pedal assuring him that you will maintain the balance. Once the child starts pedaling let go of the saddle and stay close to the bike until the child gets some confidence and starts enjoying the ride.
  • Let the child ride the bike on his own for several days before removing the training wheels.
  • After removing the training wheels, hold the bike upright and invite the child to seat in the saddle. While firmly holding the bike, encourage your child to put the feet on the pedals and start pedaling.
  • As the child starts pedaling, slowly let go the front of the bike and push it from behind the saddle. This will help to increase the speed so the bike can maintain its position without support. Gently let go of the saddle. Don’t forget to tell your child that you are going to let go.
  • Walk alongside the bike so your child can see that you are still there. Encourage the child to keep pedaling.
  • When the child falls pick him up trying to minimize the incident. Check if everything is fine and encourage him to get on the bike again.

One of the most frequent questions when using this learning method is when is the right moment to remove the training wheels.

Well, there is no right moment to do it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t force the child to ride the bike without training wheels. You should build up his confidence first and encourage him to give up to the training wheels on his own.

If your child’s friends are also learning to ride a bike in the same period it is more likely that he will decide to ride without the training wheels on his own as he will see his friends renouncing at this accessory.

Learning To Ride A Bike Without Training Wheels

Bike Riding Without Training Wheels

To teach a child to ride a bike without the help of the training wheels it is crucial to first teach the child how to maintain balance and make him familiar with the two-wheelers. This training should begin long before buying the kid an actual bike and it can be done with another two-wheeled device called a balance bike.

Balance bikes are actually regular bikes that miss the pedals and that are essential in the bike riding learning process.

Your kid can start riding a balance bike from a really young age and this device will teach him how to steer and maintain balance on two wheels.

When buying a balance bike you should pay attention to choose a lightweight model, ideally with an adjustable saddle and with a handbrake and footrest. Both the handbrake and the footrest are optional, but many kids enjoy them.

Once the kid learned how to maintain the balance on two wheels, you can start the actual bike riding training.

You will need:

  • A suitable child bike.
  • Adequate equipment for the child: helmet, knee and elbow protection pads.
  • Time

Procedure:

  • The actual bike riding learning process will begin after your child has enough confidence on a balance bike and is able to scoot around with his feet up without problems.
  • The first thing to do is to teach your child to pedal. To do this, have your child seat on the saddle with one foot on the ground and with the other foot on a raised pedal. Tell your child to press down the pedal while maintaining the balance in the same way as he would have on the balance bike.
  • Hold the bike by the saddle but don’t maintain the balance. Let the child get used to pedaling in his own rhythm. Also, instruct the kid to put his feet on the ground if he is losing balance, then start all over again.
  • Once the child learns how to maintain the balance while pedaling, teach him how to steer and turn the bike by riding in a circle.
  • If the balance bike didn’t have any handbrakes, it is now time to teach the child to use them. Let your child practice braking until he gets used to it.
  • Once your child becomes confident in using the bike, go with him on short trips to the nearby parks. Don’t forget to use your safety gear to give a good example to the kid.

Tips And Tricks

To make the whole learning process a positive experience, here are a few tips to follow.

  • Don’t force the child to learn: if you want your kid to learn how to ride a bike, remember that he or she must have a higher interest in the activity than you do. You might love cycling, but this doesn’t mean that your kid wants to learn to ride a bike too. To educate your child towards bike riding you should emphasize how fun it can be and let the kid be the one that asks you to teach him how to do it.
  • Teach the child how to maintain balance on grass: chances are your kid will fall for several times when learning how to master the balance. Teaching him how to do it on grass will be less traumatic.
  • Skip the training wheels: it is better to teach your child how to ride a bike without training wheels as he will learn how to maintain balance faster. If you don’t want to invest in a balance bike, you can remove the pedals of his bike to teach him how to maintain balance before moving on to the next steps.
  • Remove the training wheels instead of having them “loose”: if you prefer to use training wheels for the first lessons, remove them when you believe they are no longer needed. If you “loose” the training wheels your kid will not learn how to maintain balance properly and will have difficulties to ride on a two-wheeler.
  • Teach the kid how to use the brake: actually, you should teach the kid how to use the brake before teaching him how to ride the bike. Explain how the braking system works and how it should be used.
  • Encourage the child: if he falls, help him get up and encourage him to get on the bike again. Tell him that he also fell when he learned how to walk but he got up and tried again. Don’t let fear take the place of curiosity and fun.

What Is The Right Age For Learning To Ride A Bike?

Many parents wonder what is the right age for teaching their kids to ride a bike. While there is no precise rule, you should know that the ideal age is about three-four years old. At this age, most kids are able to learn how to pedal in the right way and how to master balance without too many risks.

What is important, however, is to choose a bike that is suitable for the height of the child and to have him use safety gear each time he gets on a bike.

Learning To Ride A Bike For Adults

Until now we have discussed learning to ride a bike as a child, but what if you are an adult that wants to learn how to ride a bike for health or leisure reasons? You might think that it is impossible to learn how to ride a bike at an advanced age, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

So, let’s see how to learn to ride a bike if you are an adult.

How To Choose The Right Bike

Just as for the children, choosing the right bike is essential if you want to have a positive learning experience. Either you buy or rent, here are a few things to consider:

  • The size of the bike: you should be able to mount on the bike without effort but the bike shouldn’t be too low either. The best thing to do is to try and see if the height of the frame fits your own height.
  • Weight: heavier bikes maintain a better balance but the lightweight ones are easier to handle. Depending on your personal skills, you should choose the one that better fits you.
  • Adjustable saddle and handlebar: this will help you adjust the height of the saddle and your position during the various learning stages.

My advice is to rent the bike during the first attempts and to buy your own when you are sure that cycling is a sport you want to practice on a regular basis.

How To Ride A Bike?

Once you found the right bike, it is time to start learning. The first thing to do is to put on suitable safety equipment that includes an approved helmet, knee and elbow protection pads and comfortable clothing and shoes.

Once you are adequately equipped, it’s time to learn how to ride a bike.

You will need:

  • A bike with low saddle and wheels: you should be able to easily put your feet on the ground while seating.
  • A proper training space. This could be a yard or a quiet park.
  • A friend to support and encourage you.
  • Patience. A lot of patience.

Procedure:

Learning to ride the bike as an adult is similar to teaching a child to ride a bike without using the training wheels. However, you will probably feel more embarrassed and you will get demoralized easier. For this reason, it is essential that you learn how to ride the bike in the presence of a good friend that will have the mission to encourage and keep you motivated.

  • The first thing to do is to get used to the bike. For this reason, the first lesson is to get on and off the bike without actually moving it, test the pedals with your feet without getting on the bike and controlling the steering. This will build up your confidence.
  • The second lesson is dedicated to learning how to maintain the balance. To do this, adjust the saddle to its lower position. If possible, remove the pedals of the bike. Now, just as a toddler on his balance bike, move the bike by walking while you are seated on the saddle. Try to achieve a speed high enough that will allow you to raise your feet and try to maintain the balance of the bike. If you feel like falling, simply put your feet back on the ground and start again.
  • Once you gained enough experience in maintaining the balance, go to the next step: steering and turning. While using the bike as a balance bike, try to turn the front wheel to change direction. To get used to changing the direction, you could walk your bike in a circle or draw “eights” on the ground.
  • Once you have enough confidence, it is time to get your feet up and on the pedals. The first thing to do is to attach the pedals to the bike if you removed them. With the saddle in the same position walk the bike to achieve enough speed that will let you maintain the balance while you place your feet on the pedals. Once your feet are on the pedals try and pedal to continue riding. If you lose balance, simply put your feet on the ground to avoid falling and then start all over again.
  • After you learn the pedaling technique, it is time to work on position. In fact, you will not be able to cycle with a low saddle for the rest of your life. Therefore, it is time to adjust the height of the saddle to match your own height. The right height is achieved when you will be able to sit on the saddle and put your feet on the ground with the legs fully stretched.
  • You will notice that maintaining balance and pedaling in this position is a whole different story, therefore you should learn again how to maintain balance without putting your feet on the ground. The best thing to do this is to ask a friend to help you maintain the balance of the bike until you gain enough speed to maintain the balance on your own.
  • Once you figured out how to maintain the balance in this position, it is time to leave your safety zone and try new paths. Ideally, you should look for a place that goes slightly downhill, as this will help you gain enough speed to maintain the balance. If you can do this on a grassy hill slope it would be even better, as you will not suffer major injuries if you fall.
  • When you are ready to start riding, put one foot on a pedal and with the other foot push yourself ahead. In this phase, confidence is the key. Remember that you already know how to pedal and how to maintain balance, so keep your moral up. With all the confidence you have, put the other foot on the pedal as well and start pedaling. If you feel like falling, just put your feet on the ground. Pay attention to maintaining a low speed or you could get injured.
  • After you are with both your feet on the pedals, look forward and continue pedaling while riding in a straight line.
  • The most important part: if you fall don’t lose courage. Get yourself together and hop on that bike again. Ask your friend to encourage your progress and if you notice people throwing weird looks at you just ignore them.
  • After a few weeks of practice in parks and roads with little traffic, you can start using the bike on a daily basis, for leisure or commuting.

Riding In Traffic Tips And Tricks

Once you have learned how to ride a bike, chances are you will ride it in traffic too. As a beginner, riding a bike in traffic might seem terrifying. Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Pedal inside the lane: many beginners believe that they should stay as close as possible to the sidewalks, especially when using lanes that are shared with buses or cars. However, keep in mind that you should leave a space of at least one foot between the bike and the sidewalk. You will be able to use this space if you need to avoid vehicles that pass by you.
  • Ride with a friend: it is advisable that the first times you ride your bike in traffic you go with a friend. This will build up your confidence and you will be less likely to commit errors.
  • Maintain a constant speed: this doesn’t mean that you should ride at a speed you’re not comfortable with, but maintaining a constant speed will make it less likely for you to lose balance.
  • Avoid rush hours: at least in the first weeks, try to avoid riding in traffic during rush hours. If you’re not confident enough, you might lose control and end up in a horrible accident.
  • Use alternative routes: before riding into the traffic, study the routes and see which streets and roads are preferred by the other traffic participants. Then choose a route that is quieter.
  • Wear proper equipment: when riding in traffic for the first time, pay attention to use proper reflecting equipment that will make you visible on the roads. A helmet will not do wonders if a car driver can’t see you.
  • Don’t become obsessed with the idea of danger: riding in traffic can be dangerous, especially if you’re not an expert and tend to lose control. However, keep in mind that the other traffic participants will probably not drive over you if you make yourself noticed. And if you want to build your confidence before riding your bike for commuting purposes, ride first on crowded bike lanes or paths, learn how to properly avoid obstacles and how to maintain your calm in unfriendly conditions.

Following these tips, you should be able to safely ride your bike in traffic.

Conclusion

As you can see, whether you want to teach your child to ride a bike or you just decided that you want to start cycling, learning to ride a bike is not a complicated process. All you need is determination and proper encouragement. Following the methods described above, you will probably be able to hit the road in no time.

Did you learn to ride a bike as a kid or after you grew up? Do you have any tips for those who are struggling with maintaining balance or teaching a scared child to properly ride a bike? What difficulties did you face when you learned to ride the bike? Share your thoughts and opinions with us by leaving a comment below.

Do you have a friend that wants to learn how to ride a bike? Do you know a mommy or daddy who wants to learn the kid how to ride the bike but has no idea how to get started? Share this article with them too.