The Most Common Road Hazards for Cyclists

The Most Common Road Hazards for Cyclists

Cycling is an exhilarating form of physical activity beloved by many for its freedom and simplicity. In order to enjoy the open road safely, cyclists must be vigilant. Recognizing the most common road hazards for cyclists can keep you safe and aware during your cycling excursions.

Manhole Covers

Manhole covers, typically in the middle or sides of roads, are staples of urban infrastructure and can pose a significant threat to cyclists. Understanding the basics of manhole covers, like their size, shape, and texture, can help you avoid problems when riding over them. The dangers associated with manholes come in various forms, such as the covers being slippery when wet and the uneven road surface surrounding them. When maneuvering around a manhole, keep a tight grip on your bike’s handlebars and your eyes on the road. If you can’t avoid a manhole, approach it at a perpendicular angle to prevent your wheels from getting caught in the gap.

Keeping Clear of Curbs and Potholes

Curbs are unsuspecting hazards for cyclists, especially when riding in urban areas. Even small curbs can cause you to lose balance if you don’t approach them carefully. When approaching the curb, slow down and make a decision either to bunny hop it or dismount the bike and walk over the curb. Potholes, on the other hand, are pervasive on many roads, and you might have little time to evade them.

Sharing the Road With Motorists

Drivers are among the most common road hazards for cyclists. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles create an ever-present risk due to their speed and size. Always ride predictably, communicate your intentions with hand signals, and make yourself glaringly obvious. Avoid riding in a motorist’s blind spot, and be prepared to yield if necessary.

Navigating Rough or Uneven Surfaces

Rough or uneven roads can destabilize you, leading to loss of control and potential accidents. Gravel, sand, and wet leaves pose similar risks and can cause your bike to skid. To avoid taking a spill, maintain a steady speed and good posture. Then, shift your weight slightly back, and keep a relaxed grip on the handlebars. If you do start to skid, do not panic—try to steer in the direction you want to go without making sudden movements.

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