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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Safety and cycling. A Decalogue against accidents.

Posted by admin On Marzo - 19 - 2010

Hi everybody!,

To start off, I’d say that Ivan is feeling much better after the accident. His whole body is still aching, specially his left arm—the plaster is annoying. Hopefully, the plaster will be removed in two weeks, although it’s too early to confirm it.
His bone fracture is slight and it is located half way his arm, therefore, both wrists and elbow joints have not been damaged. We’ll keep you posted on that…

This post about safety and cycling was ready awhile back but there is no other better moment to submit it, after what happened to Ivan last Sunday. From this communication platform, we’d like to do something in order to avoid as many accidents as possible. Some of them stem from ignoring some dangerous behaviors, some other, unfortunately, from the irresponsibility of few who share the public roadway.

Safety is essential when riding a bike. We ride a large number of miles on top of the tandem throughout the Spanish roads (also throughout the rest of Europe very soon) and we sometimes face huge difficulties, specially descending. We can reach up to 60 km/h with a bodywork-free vehicle with a maximum length (including the bobjack) of 360 cms.

Keeping safety in mind implies taking into account the terrain we ride on: safety regulations in a city will vary from the ones climbing down a mountain or even the roads we ride on.

Whatever the case, no matter the terrain we ride on, following 10 pieces of advices will be essential: a Decalogue for our safety:

1.    Helmet is mandatory. It is an indispensable passive safety element. It contributes to minimize cranioencephalic trauma intensity. Other protection measures are: leather gloves, knee pads or elbow pads—these are less important than the helmet though.
2.    Always keep the bike and the rest of the equipment in good condition. Mechanics is also essential: brakes adjusted, components properly set up, well inflated tires and well aligned steering.
3.    Ride with no distractions and in a predictable way, follow the same path as vehicles and do not zigzag.
4.    In rainy days, be careful with puddles, since we could fall with holes underneath. Watch out for the curves, paint and oil stains are like black ice.
5.    Be careful with children, unleashed dogs, drivers’ arms sticking out of the window, etc…these are all unpredictable elements.
6.    Indicate before moving or pulling over. Indications with your hands will enable others to know what you are about to do.
7.    Look behind you: learn how to do it without moving the handlebar and losing balance. Rear view mirrors might come in handy. Be careful when approaching intersections; just be sure to pay attention to pedestrians and other vehicles.
8.    Follow traffic signs (lights, signs and lanes). Cyclists must follow safety regulations like any other vehicle, and follow well-marked lanes. Do not turn left from the right lane. Do not move forward on a turn-right lane.
9.    Be sure to use shoulders or special lanes, if possible, otherwise stay on the right part of your lane traffic direction-wise. Watch out for the parked vehicles that decide to open the doors all of a sudden with no sort of warning or anticipation.
10.    Riding through the city, try to avoid busy avenues or main streets, as well as sidewalks.

Besides, it is very important to get to know the regulations of the places you are going to, since there is not a common one as there is with other vehicles.

We really hope this has been useful and interesting for you all. Try to spread the information as much as you can for the sake of everybody’s safety: cars, motorbikes, bikes—we all share the public roads. Also make certain to share the blog on Facebook, e-mail, Twitter—there are lots of ways on the blog’s top.

Thank you everybody for following us!.

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