Cycling Safely in Kelowna
Cycling safely requires you to have a bicycle that's in good working condition, road and traffic sense, bike handling skills, and the confidence to navigate traffic when dedicated cycling paths aren't available. If you're new to cycling or you've returned after a long break, the below resources offer a good starting point for developing the knowledge and skills you need to cycle safely in Kelowna.
Pre-Ride Bike Safety Check (ABC Quick Check)
Finally, check your bike over for any loose components or accessories. Handlebars are a common culprit here (if you've adjusted them).
Performing the ABC Quick Check each time you ride (or at the very least weekly) can help to prevent injury and help keep you rolling smoothly and safely.
An added bonus is that it keeps you familiar with the feel of different parts on your bicycle. So you'll be in a better place to notice if something isn't quite right - or when it's time for a tune up.
ICBC's Cycling Safely Suggestions
ICBC's website offers the following simple tips for riding safely:
- Start at the top. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one. Focus on how it fits: the helmet should sit level on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge one inch or less above your eyebrows to protect your forehead and should be snug so it can't roll off of your head when the chin strap is secured.
- Follow the rules of the road. Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals and adhere to the rules of the road.
- Bike lanes are best. Use designated bike routes whenever possible – they're safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic. Check your local municipality's website for designated bike routes. (Here's a link to Kelowna's bike routes!)
- Shoulder check. Use hand signals and shoulder check in advance before taking any turns. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.
- Reflect on safety. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your bicycle pedals and wheels.
- Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles as well as taxis to avoid getting hit by an opening door. Try to keep at least one metre away from parked vehicles.