Modes of Transportation – On a Bicycle

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
    • 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.).
  • 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 tacks, nails, glass shards, staples, cables, pins, sharp rocks and pieces of metal.
  • 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.

  • Cross one rail at a time.
  • Go slowly and stand on your pedals to cross particularly bumpy railway tracks in order to keep your balance.
  • If the manoeuvre appears too risky, get off your bike and cross the tracks on foot.

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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 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

If there is no barrier (only warning lights), stop at least 5 metres away from the railway tracks.

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.

Here is what to do 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, brake firmly
  • tire traction is not as good on wet pavement. Make turns slowly, without tilting too much
  • 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. Remember that the brakes are less effective when they are wet.