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Sicherheit beim Radfahren, Bild: wavebreakmedia / shutterstock

Tips for more safety: How to make your cycling holiday a success

If you are planning a holiday, you don’t always have to fly far or drive a car. There are many beautiful cities in Germany that can be discovered by bike during a cycling holiday. To ensure that the joy of the holiday is not clouded, safety has top priority. The traffic density is getting higher and higher. Cars clog up the cities. Cyclists are rarely taken into account. It depends on the safety of the bike and the cyclists so that the holiday remains a pleasant memory.

Sources of danger for cyclists in urban traffic

There are numerous sources of danger for cyclists lurking in city traffic. One problem in many German cities is the lack of infrastructure for cyclists. Only rarely are cycle paths structurally separated from the road. They are only marked on the roads. Another problem is narrow but busy roads. Most accidents involving bicycles occur at intersections and junctions. Intersections are often confusing. The situation is often made even more difficult by shrubs and parked cars. Turning trucks have often led to deaths or serious injuries to cyclists. Road damage and poorly fastened edge stones pose further dangers:

Image: Sportscheck

Tips for more safety on the bike

With the following tips, cyclists can contribute to more safety in cities so as not to put themselves and other road users in danger. In addition to a safe bike, personal equipment is also important. The weather conditions must also be taken into account. You can find out more about bicycle safety in the free e-book “The two-wheeler in urban areas”.

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The right bike helmet

Wearing a bicycle helmet should be a matter of course, as falls with a bicycle often lead to serious head injuries. Many cyclists find a helmet uncomfortable. This makes the right fit all the more important. The helmet must not be too big, otherwise the head will slide back and forth. It must also not be too small, otherwise it will constrict. The helmet must be certified according to DIN EN 1078. After about five years, the helmet should be replaced, as the material becomes porous over time. After a fall, a new helmet is also needed.

The roadworthy bicycle according to StVZO

The basic condition for an untroubled cycling holiday is a safe bicycle. Before the holiday, the bike must be checked and possibly upgraded. The equipment must include a few things:

  • Tail light, if possible with parking and brake light function
  • Category Z reflectors
  • Reflective strips on tire sidewalls or rims
  • Two yellow reflectors per pedal
  • Two independently acting brakes
  • Bright-sounding bell
  • Headlights, if possible with parking light function
  • White, forward-acting reflector that can be integrated into the headlight
  • Energy source, such as battery or alternator.

Safe on the road in all weather conditions

If you want to spend your holiday in Germany by bike, you are never safe from capricious weather. The different weather conditions have to be planned for. On hot days, don’t forget the sunscreen. Since the body consumes a lot of water, cyclists have to drink a lot. Sodium-containing drinks are best. Light, cool snacks are perfect for a small hunger in between.

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In the dark, nothing works without good lighting on the bike. In addition, cyclists should not do without a high-visibility vest that is certified according to EN ISO 20471.

In ice and snow, the risk of falling is increased. The braking distance is extended. Less air pressure in the tires leads to better grip.

What to do in the event of a bicycle accident?

Despite all precautions, accidents can never be completely ruled out. Cyclists should keep their nerve, secure the accident site and call the police. Photos of the accident site and the vehicles involved should be taken as evidence. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of all those involved as well as the witnesses to the accident must be noted.

Protection against bicycle theft

To protect against theft, cyclists should secure their bike even if they only let it out of their sight for a short time. Stable fastening options such as lampposts are important. The safest are U-locks or chain locks. The bicycle number should be noted down so that the bike can be found more quickly in the event of theft.