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Your guide to cycling safer on the roads in Trafford

Last of the pop up lanes in Sale: Pic Darren Marsden

Cycling is one of the best things you could ever take up, a one off lump some of say £300 for a bike and away you go.

Often though people forget the basic things and here I will point out to you the best ways to keep your bike in working order and to keep yourself safe whilst out and about.

These are the things you need to do before even getting on your bike:

(1) Make sure your tyres are pumped up to the right pressure

(2) Make sure your handlebar and stem bolts are tight although do not ever over tighten them! you also should check your seat post and saddle bolts.

(3) Check your brakes are working.

Now once you have done that and all is good, it is time to get on the bike, before you do this here are some things to remember:

(1) If you are wearing trainers or shoes always make sure on every journey you tighten the laces, double them as if they come untied and end up in your chain ring the only thing you will be doing next is hitting the ground!

(2) Wear a helmet

(3) Try hard not to be wearing heavy and baggy clothes even through winter, these days we have excellent cycle and running gear that not only keeps the chills away and keep the rain from drenching you, but also lightweight so you do not sweat and feel uncofortable.

(4) If its cold make sure you have with you a pair of gloves and ear warmers both are very cheap to buy.

And that is that! not much to do to make yourself safer even before you get on the bike, these things will take less than 5 mins or so of your time.

Now you are about to head off someplace, you need to remember never wear headphones!

One of the biggest mistakes new cyclists make is being worried about the traffic and understandably so, however you need to not keep looking around, all you are doing is confusing the driver behind you.

Keep cycling to where you were going to, remember if you are spooked get on the pavement when it is safe for you to do so, have a breather, grab a drink from your bag or bottle cage and then get back cycling.

Never think that a cycle lane is a safe environment, you are on a live road with motorists who are often in their own world, that do not see cyclists, a cycle lane does not give you any rights at all, it does not help you in any legal battles if someone hits you.

When you see next to no room because of a bus or HGV blocking a cycle lane do not cycle down the side just because you are on a cycle lane, these drivers are obviously blind, however taking such action could mean you end up in hospital fighting for your life.

DO not take risks! on any road, keep calm, keep your wits about you at all times, do the right things and all will be good.

Often one of the biggest dangers is actually the roads you are cycling on and never really gets talked about, if you are riding on a road bike with often 23mm tyres even the slightest pothole could present problems, the slightest bump and so on.

We think the council may not fully understand about how dangerous things are for road and hybrid cyclists, where a mountain bike would be able to ride these potholes and road defects, including drains placed the wrong way a road bike would find difficult to cope.

So be wary of the roads, note in your head where these potholes are and report them to One Trafford as soon as you can.

When the winter comes we have lest light of course and if you are cycling in the dark wearing Hi-Visibility clothing is incredibly important as is buying a good set of bike lights.

If you do not have a road bike and just using a mountain bike then look to go on the trails more, or the Bridgewater Canal tow path, we suggest to check out the trail where the Altricham to Lymm rail line once used to be, this is a brilliant path to cycle on for all the family.

Keep cycling safe and enjoy your ride.

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