Flora Duffy *File photo
Flora Duffy *File photo

Firstly congratulations  Flora Duffy for a strong performance last weekend with her fourth place in the South Beach Triathlon.

Last year Duffy finished 3rd in the XTerra Triathlon World Champs in Hawai’i and she has committed to racing more XTerras this year including this weekend in Las Vegas, which will give her a good lead in to the Worlds.

Meanwhile, I got hit by a truck last Saturday and was lucky that I just ended up with a sore calf and a smashed rear wheel. Which made me think that with so many of you out riding at all hours, bike safety tips would be a good topic.

1. Make sure your bike has air in the tires, the brakes are working and everything is tightened down. I know an experienced cyclist who worked on a wheel and didn’t tighten it properly, forgot and the wheel came off. 

He was out for months.

2. Make sure you are visible. Bright colours work best and have strong  charged lights (white at the front and flashing red at the back).

3. Wear a good helmet with the strap tightened and if it suffers any impact replace it.

4. Make eye contact with drivers, especially at intersections and crossings, so you know they have seen you. Car drivers often assume that bikes are travelling slower than they sometimes are so judge badly when turning in front of you.

5. Always stay alert. Be aware of what is happening around you, including practising looking behind you, not easy at first. 

6. Look out for potholes and avoid slippery manhole covers, gravel, sand and painted lines.

7. When riding in a group, send warnings back by shouting and hand signals. 

8. Think distances when riding behind vehicles and past parked cars. Ride two feet out to stop cars trying to squeeze past you.

9. Ride as conservatively as possible, especially when wet and cornering when wet.

10. Make your intentions clear early with hand signals and check over your shoulder before making a move.

And of course, obey traffic signals and rules of the road and don’t take silly risks.

Happy riding.