Whether you're a regular cyclist or an infrequent rider, here are a few things you might like to consider before you next hop on your bike.
Insurance and Assistance
Even if you normally only ride within a few kilometres of your home, it's worth thinking about what would happen if you had a breakdown or were involved in an accident. Some available options are:
- Bicycle Network Membership: membership of Bicycle Network gives you comprehensive bike riding insurance, riders' rights and legal support, and the knowledge that you're helping an organisation that advocates for better cycling conditions around Australia.
- Bicycle Network Rider Rescue: This will help get you and your bike home (or to a safe place) if you’ve had a mechanical breakdown, injury or you simply can’t go on. It's valid across all of Australia.
- RACV Bike Assist: This is similar to the Bicycle Network Rider Rescue package. You should compare them closely to see which seems better for your circumstances.
- Ambulance Victoria Membership: Ambulance charges range from $1,265 (metro) to $26,852 (helicopter rescue). If you're not certain that you have ambulance cover provided through a pension/concession card, private health insurance etc., Ambulance Victoria membership is recommended - it supports a good cause and costs around $50 p.a. for a single person or $100 for a family.
Cyclists are required to obey the same road rules as drivers, plus some additional bicycle-specific rules. The VicRoads A-Z of cycling defines the road laws, including those for bikes, as well as providing many useful additional tips. VicRoads also lists road laws for other Australian states.
In addition to following the road laws, there are a few simple basics to help make your cycling a safe, pleasurable experience. If stopping, turning or slowing down, it's important to signal. Whenever you stop, always move off the path so you're not obstructing other riders or pedestrians.
- Four Types of Communication: Your bell isn't the only way to communicate with other road users!
- Ride with Confidence: Some excellent tips on good strategies for riding safely.
- Group Riding Basics: Some useful tips for riding in groups. Some of these tips are specifically for peloton riders, but most also apply to our more social Nomads group rides.