Lagos is yet to become a prominent bicycling city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen. Nonetheless, over the years there’s been a steady adoption to bicycling in the Centre of Excellence, chiefly propelled by Cycology Riding Club, Sustainable Cycling Foundation and quite a number of cycling professionals and enthusiasts. While the cycling culture is still at its very nascent stage in Lagos, quite a number of cyclists can be seen on the road these days.
For many that will love to bike commute in Lagos but do not know how and where to start, here are some tips to help anyone get started on bike commuting in Lagos:
- The Right Bike
Getting the right bike is integral to having a wholesome cycling experience. Choosing the right bike for you depends on a number of factors. Don’t like riding with a backpack on? Then you’ll need a front or rear rack to have your bike do the heavy lifting. Live in a completely flat area and you don’t want to spend much? A single-speed cruiser will be sufficient. Do you have to bring your bike up a flight of stairs each night? You’ll probably want something lightweight.
Get yourself the right kind of bike and an exciting cycling experience is guaranteed… provided you abide by the remaining tips…
- Always have a route plan
It is important to plan one’s route ahead of hitting the road. Cycling in cities–especially one like Lagos where rush hour seem to be the norm is very challenging yet it can be the best thing to do as it will be faster than driving. Bicycles are immune to getting stuck in traffic, so you can look forward to shaving a few minutes off your commute time by switching to biking.
Right now there are no dedicated cycling lanes on Lagos roads as you have in cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, thus it is advisable to avoid very busy road to reduce the dangers of an accident.
- Be visible
Once you’re ready to make cycling a regular part of your routine, it’s time to start thinking about gear. The first thing you’ll want to invest in is a good set of lights, especially for night rides. Drivers can’t look out for you if they can’t see you. Yellow bus drivers are really not that patient. While this is less of an issue during the day, for bike commuting in dark, rainy climates, lights are an absolute must.
USB-rechargeable lights are good options to reduce your use of disposable batteries and cut down on the hassle of constantly needing replacements.
Being predictable is an important factor for cycling on the road. Motorists should be able to make clear judgements on what your next move will be. To make your ride safer, send clear signals to other road users about your movements and intentions.
Use hand signals to indicate when you’re turning or stopping, and make eye contact with drivers whenever possible.
- Learn some basic bike mechanics
If you plan on making bike commuting a regular part of your life, it’s important to understand some basic bike mechanics. Or at least know where bike mechanics like Velocare are located. You don’t need to know how to break a chain and repair a derailleur within two weeks of starting to ride. Honestly, the majority of casual bike commuters will never get that far into it. But knowing how to pump your tires and change a flat will save you a lot of hassle in the long run, and cut down on the amount of time you spend stuck at the side of the road phoning for a friend to come pick you and your bike up.
Do you have tips you think should make this list? Kindly share with us in the comment section. Thanks
Post inspired by Momentum Mag