Tyler Walker, mechanic with Coal City Cycles, works on a mountain bike brake system. Walker and staff at other bike stores in town recommend a variety of riding techniques and equipment to help cyclist stay safe on the road. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Tyler Walker, mechanic with Coal City Cycles, works on a mountain bike brake system. Walker and staff at other bike stores in town recommend a variety of riding techniques and equipment to help cyclist stay safe on the road. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Cycling safety key to healthy riding during Bike to Work Week

Cyclists can stay safe while riding to work by following a few tips

Cycling to work is great exercise and environmentally friendly, but following a few safety tips is key to staying healthy while riding.

Bike to Work Week started Monday and continues through Sunday (June 4) in Nanaimo.

One of the best ways to make that cycle commute safely and avoid collisions with vehicles is by being visible to motorists.

Kebble Sheaff, owner of Arrowsmith Bikes, recommends cyclists keep bike lights turned on, wear bright colours or reflective material – especially on feet and knees, which move while pedalling a bike – and contrasting clothing, such as neon yellow, green or orange against black. Flashing lights, motion and bright colours will catch a driver’s peripheral vision.

“This means, ‘that’s a human and I shouldn’t run it over,’ when you see that,” Sheaff said.

Cycling clothing and bicycle finishes and decals made of reflective material that glows when hit by car lights, provide additional safety at night when there is no sunlight to cause bright clothing colours to fluoresce.

“We had a few jackets where the whole entire jacket lights up when you shine a light up on it at night,” Sheaff said.

Every bicycle should have bright, flashing lights turned on day or night. Eighty per cent of all bicycle accidents happen in the daytime when most people ride. Daytime running lights can cut collisions between bikes and cars by up to 33 per cent.

Helmets should always be worn while riding to protect against head injuries when crashes do occur and many municipalities, Nanaimo included, have bylaws requiring cyclists to wear helmets.

Being able to see is as important as being seen. Often sand and other debris on roads is thrown up by passing vehicles. Wearing safety glasses or sunglasses prevents grit from getting into eyes, which can be painful and dangerous if a rider’s vision becomes impaired.

“It’s funny, though. A lot of people don’t ride with glasses,” Sheaff said. “Mountain bikers especially don’t. I think people are becoming more aware and are starting to now – same as having a rear light on all the time while your riding. It’s not just a nighttime thing.”

Tyler Walker, bicycle mechanic with Coal City Cycles, recommends fenders to keep debris from flying into cyclists’ faces.

“Full-wrap fenders … that’s going to prevent a lot of stuff from getting in your eyes and it’s definitely one of the best investments for commuting in the wet,” Walker said.

He also recommends cyclists take up mountain biking or cyclocross, which teaches riders how to control bikes in adverse situations.

“If you can handle your bike in sketchy or slippery situations, then when you’re in traffic it’s a lot easier to avoid potholes,” he said.

Cyclists should keep their heads on a swivel and eyes and ears open when biking in traffic.

“Aside from your gear, having eyes in the back of your head is very important, not wearing any earbuds or anything like that and keeping your ears and eyes open,” Walker said. “I really like making a right shoulder check, making eye contact with drivers and making sure they see me, so they don’t run me over.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Beef of the Week: Shame on the Chinese restaurant that uses peanuts instead of almonds on their almond chicken. This is not right.
Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk on Nanaimo’s Victoria Road

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Most Read