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two or three things to know to ride safely

Successive confinements, environmental awareness, the need for exercise have made the bicycle once again become a means of mobility for many of us. In the city, but also in the countryside. Here are some rules and good ideas to go far without getting run over.

Going by bike is not self-evident if you don’t start at the same time as learning to walk. Or right after! Issues of balance, negotiating turns, evaluating braking distances, in particular.

When we go on a bicycle with Paulette, it’s because we know our bike, we have understood that, in good weather or bad, our bike is no longer the same, that the wind can make us deviate involuntarily of our trajectory, that the rain blurs the glasses, wets the clothes, accentuates the feeling of cold, and as if all that was not enough, decreases braking efficiency!

Let us add the fact that the cyclist on the country roads often feels like a rabbit in front of a car, and that, in town, unscrupulous motorists park cheerfully on the cycle lanes, open their doors there as they come out of their bathroom. ! If we have survived all these calamities, it is because we have respected a number of basic safety rules.

The bike has at least two wheels, only one is possible, but in addition to being a bit sporty, you also need to have notions of the circus, handlebars and a saddle. It’s more convenient to move forward. But beyond that, many cyclists seem to have forgotten a number of mandatory equipment. Like :

  • Two brakes, front and rear, and effective it is better to say it.
  • Reflectors, or retro-reflective devices, red at the rear and white or yellow at the front. Yellow also on the sides and on the pedals, they must be clean and in good condition.
  • Position lights, one emitting a white or yellow light at the front, the other a red light at the rear.
  • A buzzer, the term may seem excessive, but making the meager bell sold in supermarkets sound difficult in general traffic. Regulations must be able to hear this bell 50 meters away!

And then again, in the case of the use of a trailer whose width exceeds 1.30 meters, reflectors and lights must be added to it. In case it is less than 1.30 m it would not seem ridiculous to do it either, your dog, or your children, will be grateful to you for pointing them out to the voracity of the bumpers!

The cyclist equips himself as he wishes. The good idea is to dress, in general we dress, except in particular summer circumstances, rather in light colors, especially in the evening or after dark. In town, the most cautious will put on a standardized reflective chasuble at night. On country roads, this chasuble is obligatory day and night.

The cyclist must not telephone while pedalling. First we need both hands to hold the handlebars where the brake handles are. It is better to leave them there, reaching out to indicate a change of direction is sometimes already very complicated; So chat the smartphone glued to the ear.

It is therefore forbidden to wear any device likely to emit sound (headphones, headsets or headphones) in the ear, the authorities indicate. Hand-held phone use is also prohibited.

There is no device allowing cyclists to telephone while pedaling to date.

To cross a protected passage, the cyclist must get off his bike and dismount. But Dyears the cas particular of the mixed protected passage, “the cyclist can stay on his saddle”specifies the Automobile Club.

And beware of the fiery cyclist who does not let a pedestrian through a protected passage, it could cost him a fine of 135 euros.

To wear or not to wear a bicycle helmet. The legislator, concerned about the safety of cyclists, wanted to make wearing them compulsory a few years ago. But ! This obligation would have ultimately posed more problems than advantages. More possibility of renting self-service bicycles for example. Farewell Bicloo, Vélib’, VélôToulouse, or other free bicycle services developed in metropolitan areas.

And then, in the event of a fatal impact, helmet or no helmet, the result will be the same. The helmet protects against scratches caused by treacherous branches in the woods, or in town, we know some! No more.

A cap or a hat will protect you from the heat of the sun in summer, a beanie will keep your neurons warm in winter, much better than a Tour de France style helmet!

So in order not to lose face, this legislator who does not often have to cycle around the national parliament, has just made this helmet compulsory for children under 12 years old.

Moreover, there is no standard as for motorcycle helmets intended above all to protect their necks in the event of a fall.

In this respect, on a bicycle with Paulette, everyone does what they please. Because if the bicycle is indeed the symbol of something, it is that of the freedom to go as you please, a little faster than on foot.

Two-thirds of French people have cycled at least once in the past 12 months, according to a survey published Thursday, May 12 and carried out for Union Sport et cycle, which represents companies in the sector, and the insurance company AG2R La Mondiale, which sponsors a cycling team.

The use of the “vélotaf” is growing, 8% of French people say they go to work by bike at least once a week, with a high proportion of men, aged under 50, and residing in the agglomerations of more than 20,000 inhabitants, particularly in the Paris region.

This “vélotaf” journey lasts an average of 23 minutes for 6 kilometres.

37% of practitioners cycle at least once a week, according to this survey.

“The practice in the city continues to grow (66% of city dwellers claim to cycle), and this without damaging the image of cyclists, quite the contrary: 62% of French people have a good image of cyclists”, underline the sponsors of the study in a press release.

The bike is “the future of everyday travel” estimate 65% of those questioned, especially the youngest. 35% believe that it is rather than “it’s a gadget for city dwellers”.

Bicycle sales have exploded since the start of the pandemic, benefiting in particular from electrically assisted bicycles (VAE).

Leisure practice remains the majority (50% of respondents), and sports practice important (26%), but 18% of respondents have also used a bicycle at least once in the last 12 months for daily travel. .

4% of French people also say they have recently taken a bike trip, especially in the Pays de la Loire, and especially as a couple.

To further develop the practice of cycling, 28% of cyclists consider the establishment of more cycle paths a priority, while 21% of them would like adapted and secure parking lots to avoid theft, in particular.

This study was conducted online between March 1 and March 21, 2022, among 5,000 French people aged over 18, representative of the French population in terms of gender, age, socio-professional category and regions. .

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