Tips for Cycling Safely on Slippery Roads

December 19, 2017 5:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Did you know that aside from lack of maintenance, bike accidents are the biggest catalysts for bike repair in Boca Raton, FL? And, more often than not, the cause of biking accidents is a wipeout on unsafe terrain. The culprit is often slippery roadways.

Slick roads are extremely dangerous not only because they cause wipeouts, but because they’re extremely hard to discern and navigate—even for experienced cyclists. Even if the road looks clean, clear and safe, there could be agents at work that make it slick, unstable and unsafe.

How to Identify Slick Roads

There’s an easy way to identify a slick road—assume that any road that’s wet is unsafe! Now, this isn’t practical for most diehard cyclists, and it’s a bit alarmist. If you’re a newbie road cyclist who’s still getting used to your bike, it might be a good idea not to ride after a recent rain. However, if you’re a seasoned rider, wet roads don’t have to keep you from enjoying a ride. To avoid succumbing to slick roadways, follow these simple steps:

  • Slow down when you approach wet pavement
  • If the sun is shining, check for any glare that might signal slick oil
  • Avoid standing water and try to ride on the least wet part of the road
  • Maintain a straight trajectory if possible, and make wide turns if needed

Handling Your Bike

Slowing your speed and maintaining your current course will do two things to help prevent you from skidding: 1) they’ll improve the traction of your tires when gripping the ground, and 2) they’ll keep the bald parts of your sidewall from making contact with the slick surface. Slow down and stay straight, and you’ll get through a wet stretch of roadway just fine.

What to Do If You Fall

If you feel the traction slip out from under you on a wet surface, it won’t be long before you go down. No one likes falling. But, in the instant it happens, there’s not much you can do, except to fall “smart.”

When falling, tuck your knees and elbows close to your bike. Most people try to unclip their shoes or kick out their legs—this will often result in knees or elbows hitting the ground first, which can trigger a very painful fracture. Tucking close to your bike allows the fatty part of your thigh to hit first, followed by the outside of your shoulder. This will hurt, of course, but much less than bone on concrete!

When you get back up, check to make sure you’re okay and that your bike isn’t damaged. If you’re both okay, be sure to head home to clean and bandage yourself. If you’re hurt or your bike isn’t roadworthy, contact someone to pick you up. Don’t try to bike home on wet roadways with a damaged bike, or you’ll find yourself on the ground again shortly and with a much higher bill for bike repair in Boca Raton, FL!

Weathering Wet Roads

Wet roadways are one of the many hazards cyclists face. If you’re smart, you can stay safe on a ride even when wet roads are present. Follow the above tips the next time you’re faced with less-than-amiable biking conditions.

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