Friday, December 26, 2008

My cycling in Singapore experiences - Skills for on the road riding

Basically, I don't encourage others to ride bicycle on roads because of the possibility of fatal accidents. However, if someone decides to do so, then my main advice is to have some driving experiences first.

Next, note that the minimal skills required to cycle on roads is much higher and more than that to cycle in a park. Basically, absolutely NO mistakes are allowed on roads as a simple mistake might cost a life. Some skills I find useful are ...
  • Able to ride on a narrow path, typically within the two double yellow lines. However, I am not saying that you must ride between the yellow lines as some times you need to take the lane, i.e. cycle in the middle of the lane. This is not required when cycling in parks.
  • Able to ride really slow, e.g. slower than walking. This is not really for on the road cycling, but on pedestrian crossing or pavements which to avoid requires very high discipline. Thus, when riding along with pedestrians, move at their speed. This is more for your own safety than theirs.
  • Able to ride without hands holding the bar. Of course I am not suggesting to do it on roads at all time, and even in parks unnecessarily. This ability proves that you don't rely on your hand but your waist and body to balance and manoeuvre the bicycle. However, this is something just for learning and not for using, and when learning, please wear full safety gears.
  • Able to watch behind while keep riding parallel to the side of the road. You will need to check blind spot, i.e. turning head to check behind, regardless if you have a mirror or not, and I recommend having a mirror mounted in a non-protruding manner.

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