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Calculate the benefits: health

13 June, 2011

Miss out on colds and flu…and live longer. That’s not a bad health package.

Healthy rider

Perhaps it’s not being in the stuffy confines of public transport or the warm incubator of your private vehicle. More likely you get hardier and you stimulate your immune system through exercise, but it’s apparent to riders that you catch fewer colds when you ride regularly. Your sleep is better quality when you’re well exercised, making you less susceptible to viruses.

And in the long-range view, the British Medical Association has declared that the detriment of inactivity is 20 times greater than the health risk posed by a potential accident on a bike.

Tip – Take roundabouts assertively (and prudently)

Start looking for a gap in the traffic in the lane well before the roundabout, indicate your intentions of moving into the lane in a confident and clear manner, take the lane and become a part of the flow of traffic.


Illustration by Zink Designs

There is a common misconception that you must give way to your right in a roundabout. While this is practical, the law actually says that you must give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout.

Enter the roundabout in the middle of the lane and go through it the same way you would if you were in a car. This will make you more visible to other vehicles approaching the roundabout and prevent cars travelling in the same direction from trying to squeeze past you.

Keeping your head up, making eye contact with drivers and using obvious and clear hand signals is particularly important when travelling through a roundabout. Some riders like to point directly to where they are exiting. If you can, keep your signalling going until you are through the intersection.

All other vehicles entering the roundabout must give way to you, but be vigilant – sometimes drivers won’t see you. Also be on the look out for aggressive drivers who see someone on a bike as offering them a potential gap to slip into.

Once through the roundabout, move back to the left side of the road.

We covered challenge of roundabouts a little while back.

This post was for day 14 of Ride On‘s June riding challenge.

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