Cycling solo - 8 tips to keep you safe on the road - Pearson1860

During periods of uncertainty (whether that is political, financial or medical), we’ve found that the humble bicycle can get you through the tough times. Established in 1860, Pearson has been here before. Cycling, especially when going solo, is a good way to improve mental wellbeing and also offers a practical solution to everyday travel. 

We have recently experienced an increase in customers visiting our stores to ready their bikes for use, and we are here to help. If you are considering using any free time to get out and about, or simply avoiding the crowds on public transport, we’ve got some advice to make sure you stay safe on your bicycle.


Cycling solo - 8 tips to keep you safe on the road - Pearson1860-Pearson1860

Advice from the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. Times change, messages don’t.


Top Pearson tips for staying safe: 

1. Stop!

Check your brakes work before getting on the bike. Check the rubber pads or disc pads have enough meat on them. This will, of course, help you to come to halt in a timely fashion and maintain confidence on the road.

2. You’ve got to pump it up.

Ensure your tyres are not worn or cut, replace if they are. Also, check they are pumped up to the correct pressure, this will increase the efficiency of your ride. Pressures are stated on the side of the tyre, but as a rule, aim for 40-60 psi for mountain bike or hybrid tyres, and 80-90 psi for road bike tyres. To find out more about the world of tyres, click here.

3. Righty-tighty.

Make sure all of the bolts are done up tight - most notably the bolts on your wheels, stem and your seat post. Whilst you’re at it, make sure your saddle is at a correct height, we recommend a slight bend in the leg when the pedal is at it’s lowest point. This will improve your efficiency whilst riding.

4. (Don’t) Get lost!

Use tools like Strava and Sustrans, or for those based in the big smoke Transport for LondonUsing these tools can help guide you on to the safest and lesser-used routes. You can also plan your journey through Google maps using the cycling option.

5. Keep it real.

Brush up on the Highway code. Knowing where you should be on the road, where you can and can’t cycle. Learning about your rights as a bicycle rider will help you feel safer and more secure whilst on the road. Don’t be tempted to drop into bad habits, nobody needs to skip a red light!

6. Where’s the fire?

The more you rush, the more likely you are to make a poor decision. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination and you will no doubt enjoy the journey a lot more. Stay hydrated by fitting a bottle to your bike and remember to change the contents for each journey.

7. The full kit and kaboodle.

You don’t need to kit yourself out in a full set of Pearson 1860 cycling gear to ride your bike (although we’d love it if you did!) but try to wear clothing that you are comfortable in. Try to avoid loose items that can flap in the wind or get caught in the wheel or chain. Please note: at Pearson we recommend you always wear a helmet!

8. Where's your head at?

Riding a bike is good for wellbeing and finding some headspace. The sheer act of regularly exercising outdoors does wonders for the mind. Be at one with your thoughts, burn a few calories and increase your fitness. It's all good. 

Other notable mentions:

    • Always have a set of functioning lights. Rechargeable versions are the standard now.
    • Lock your bike to a secure anchor point with a quality lock.
    • Keep your fingers on the brake levers whilst in traffic.
    • Be prepared for the British weather (rain, rain and more rain).
    • If there is anything you aren’t sure about, contact your local bike shop.

Remember folks, as was once advised during the Spanish Flu of 1918 “Ride a bicycle and keep well”.

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