Riding a bike can be a lot of fun, but when you ride, you need to be aware of all of your surroundings to keep yourself and others safe. Fortunately, there’s a simple technique you can use to make this easier. It’s called the SIPDE system, and when used properly, it will reduce the risks associated with riding a bike and keep you as safe as possible.
When you’re riding a bike, you should be scanning your surroundings at all times. If you take your eyes off the road for even a second, you might miss a possible sign of danger. You never know when a pedestrian is going to run across the street without looking or when someone is going to swing open their car door as you’re riding by. Scan your surroundings early and often to get a clear picture of what’s ahead.
As you scan your surroundings, you should also identify any potential hazards along the way. This could include anything from a pothole to a driver who looks lost and is zigging and zagging all over the street. You want to identify trouble as early as you can so that you can come up with a plan of action.
What would happen if you were to encounter one of the hazards you just identified? You should make every effort to predict the outcome so that you can weigh your options as you ride. Hitting a pothole at a low speed might not be the worst thing in the world, but coming into contact with a wayward car could be catastrophic.
Once you’ve predicted what might happen if certain scenarios play out, you should use your predictions to decide on a course of action. You obviously want to try and choose the path that will lead you to safety whenever possible. Use all of the information you have gathered prior to this step to make an informed decision about what to do next.
This should, in theory, be the easiest step. At this point, you have scanned your surroundings, identified any potential hazards, predicted what might happen in different scenarios, and decided what to do next. All that’s left to do is to execute your plan to the best of your ability. If you’ve used the SIPDE system properly, that plan should keep you safe and limit your risk of accidents.
Need a hand getting your bike road ready? Stop in to Nantucket Bike Shop today for a tune-up!