Modes of Transportation

Obstacles and Road Surfaces

Potholes, sand, sewer grates, railway tracks and weather conditions are all things to watch out for when riding a bicycle.

Potholes, sand, sharp objects… be on the lookout for hazards on the road!

  • Holes and uneven pavement can pose a risk of falling
    • Where possible, avoid such hazards by gradually changing your trajectory and going around them slowly. Be careful not to cut off another user (motorist, motorcyclist, other cyclist, etc.).
    • If it is impossible to do so, slow down, avoid sharp movements, and shift your weight backwards to avoid getting the front wheel stuck in the hole.
  • Slippery or dirt surfaces can make you fall
    • Go slowly and make turns with caution, while keeping your bike as upright as possible.
  • Sharp objects can puncture your tires and cause falls or collisions
    • Watch out for nails, glass shards, cables, sharp rocks and pieces of metal.
  • Watch out for sewer grates, metal plates, rails, etc.
    • All of these surfaces are slippery. Slow down, especially when they are wet.
    • Be extra careful when the sewer grate openings are parallel to the road, as the wheels can get stuck in them.

Railway tracks

Tracks are slippery when wet.

  • Go slowly.
  • Cross the tracks at a right angle.
  • If the manoeuvre appears too risky, get off your bike and cross the tracks on foot.

Video clip

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Be cautious near railway tracks

Crossing the tracks

  1. Look over your left shoulder. Illustration of a cyclist checking over his left shoulder to see if there is a break in traffic before changing lanes.
  2. Go left.
  3. Cross the tracks at a right angle.

If a train is approaching

You should stop your bike at least 5 metres from the railway when:

  • signals, lowered barriers or railway employees indicate that a train or other railway vehicle is approaching
  • you see or hear a train approaching the level crossing

Weather conditions

Rain, snow, frost

Rain, snow and frost can make pavement slippery. In such weather conditions, be extra cautious!

Braking and turning properly

Most bikes do not brake well in the rain, even those equipped with disc brakes.

In the rain:

  • pedal slowly
  • plan for additional braking distance, as the first wheel rotations will serve to dry the brakes, which are not as effective when they are wet
  • once the brakes have started to grab the wheel, gradually apply the brakes to avoid locking the wheels or lifting the back wheel
  • if you have to stop suddenly, keep your centre of gravity low and towards the back wheel
  • tire traction is not as good on wet pavement, especially on painted lines, so make turns slowly without leaning over too far.
  • make sure you can be seen by the other road users, as visibility is often reduced under such conditions

Wet pavement

Puddles can cover cracks or large holes in the pavement. Go around puddles if possible, or go through them slowly.

Last update: May 30, 2022