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3 Top Safety Tips For Cycling Abroad

Lone cyclist in a vast landscape
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(Image via Unsplash)

Cycling is an excellent way to tour a new destination and enjoy a vacation with a twist. Before embarking on a cycling adventure abroad, it’s important to consider the safety risks involved. Take precautions to stay safe. Around 41,000 cyclist fatalities occur every year worldwide.

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death because they don’t have any protection in the event of an injury. If you’re planning to cycle abroad, be sure to follow these three top safety tips to protect yourself from harm.

1. Learn The Road Regulations And Riding Customs In Your Destination

Every country is different when it comes to road regulations and riding customs for cyclists. What might be legal in your home country could be illegal abroad and cause you to face hefty fines. Safety customs as far as road positioning and clothing could also be different, leaving you vulnerable to accidents. Be sure to read up on the road codes and regulations in the country you’ll be visiting.

It’s also helpful to refresh your memory about a country’s regulations before every visit just in case things have changed. For example, in the UK the Highway Code was updated in 2022 to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. It’s easy to miss such updates when you’re not a resident of a country, so to play it safe, always double-check laws and guidance relevant to cycling before you travel.

2. Wear A Helmet

Helmets are not compulsory for cyclists in every country, but they go a very long way in preventing serious injury and death in the event of a crash. A review of 55 studies conducted between 1989 and 2017 found that helmets reduce serious head injury by 60% and traumatic brain injury by 53%.

They also reduce facial injury by 23%. When you’re riding on unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar laws and customs, the risk of being involved in an accident could be higher than in your home country. It is always best practice to protect yourself with a helmet.

Cyclist in snowy road conditions

(Image via Unsplash)

3. Research Weather Conditions And Prepare Appropriately

Seasoned cyclists know how important it is to check the weather forecast before heading out for a ride. This is so that they can clothe and equip themselves appropriately. This is particularly important when traveling abroad. Your destination country might have a dramatically different climate than your home country. Its weather could be more changeable, more extreme, or simply unlike anything you’ve cycled in before.

Research average temperatures, rainfall rates, and sunshine hours, and consider how these weather conditions impact the typical terrain you’ll be traveling across. You can then pack the appropriate clothing, cycling gear, and safety equipment. Don’t forget things like sunscreen, electrolytes, and insect repellent for hot and humid destinations.

Make Safety A Priority On Your Cycling Trip Abroad

You might be looking forward to a fun cycling trip abroad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t factor in safety too. By prioritizing safety and following these tips, you can minimize your chances of getting injured and ensure your two-wheeled adventure is one to remember for all the right reasons.

Craig Tolton is an adventurous soul with a passion for exploration. An avid cyclist and traveler, Craig loves nothing more than exploring new places and pushing himself to his limits. His enthusiasm for life has taken him on incredible journeys, from cycling in the bustling city streets to venturing off-road on the wildest of trails.

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