Cycling safety - Shoalhaven City Council

Tips for cycling safely in the Shoalhaven

Always wear a suitable cycling helmet -fitting level, and properly strapped - and present a very visible profile to motorists -bright clothing, reflective back pack, lights and reflectors.

Ride grading

The rides are graded Easy / Medium / Hard or in between. Pick the grade that suits your fitness.
There are lots of level rides, but also some major hills in parts of the Shoalhaven! Start off slowly, use low gears on hills. Pause to enjoy our magnificent scenery.

Recommended clothing

Wear suitable comfortable clothing. Shorts suit most conditions, strong shoes, brightly coloured top - and your helmet. Carry a warm and waterproof top, as weather often changes.

Body fuel

No matter how short the ride appears, always carry water and a high energy snack. Dehydration is dangerous as well as unpleasant.

Timing your ride

Consider riding in the morning, when you are fresh. Remember that drivers may have difficulty seeing you against a rising or setting sun. If you plan an afternoon ride, allow at least the suggest time before sunset (make sure you check the sunset time locally). This is a rural area - safe footpaths and street lights are rare in the bush.

Ride together

For personal safety, when you cycle away from population centres, do not go on your own. On bush rides (particularly where a mountain bike is recommended) presume no passing traffic, no one living there permanently, no telephones - and mobile phones usually don't work. At least tell someone reliable exactly where you are going and when you are due back. Do not vary from this plan, and let your back-up know when you return. Each ride offers cautions.

Pre-ride checklist

Bicycle safety check

Brakes - Rear and Front: Are they operating OK? Are brake pads in line on the rim? Does the cable need adjusting? Are new brake pads required because worn? Tyre and Wheel - Front and Rear: Is the tyre OK, not worn - holes or tread gone? Does a wheel need straightening?
Steering: Handlebars should be firmly connected to the steered wheel. Does the head-stem need adjusting? Are the hand grips secure, not slippery?
Warning device - a legal requirement: Does the bell ring or horn sound sufficiently loudly and reliably? You need a warning device.
Reflectors - a legal requirement: Front White and Rear Red are required - visible and clean enough to be effective.
Seat should be adjusted to right height, at correct level or only slight tilt, locked firmly in place.

Helmet safety check

The Helmet must meet current standards. The styrofoam shell must be intact, not damaged, chewed or cracked. The straps also must be intact, not worn or frayed. The Helmet should also be the right size (fitting firmly with appropriate internal pads, worn level and square upon the head, and secured with the strap. Straps should be adjusted so that the spreader is just below your ears, and, without impeding breathing, the strap adjusted to be firm under the chin.

Bicycle mechanical checks

These can be daily checks if the cycle is exposed to severe weather conditions - wet or dry: Wheel bearings lubricated; Pedals turn freely and lubricated; Bottom bracket lubricated, and bearings firm; Chain flexible and lubricated; Gear cables adjusted to change correctly.

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