Safety tips for Riding on Mountain Highways

Safety is a top priority during our tours and we do all we can to maximize your safety. The tour van is on the road nearby while you’re riding and leap-frogs between groups of riders. Riders will have radios for contacting the driver, so if you ever feel you’d like to get off the road and into the van, you can call for a lift. There is no cell reception for parts of the tour so the driver will have a 2 way satellite communicator on hand in case of emergencies.

There’s a good shoulder to ride on for most of the tour although at times you’ll need to ride single file if the shoulder narrows. You’ll also want to ride in the middle or right hand side of the shoulder if possible to maximize your distance from other traffic that we’ll be sharing the road with.

Aside from this, there are a couple of important things you can do to optimize your personal safety. A well-fitted helmet and enhanced visibility are key.

Fitting Your Helmet
A helmet should fit snugly, like a baseball cap, It should not be tight or give any pressure points, but also should not feel loose or like there’s a lot of space between the helmet and the head. While most helmets now have retention systems which snug the front of the head to the helmet, it’s still possible to have too much space behind the head.

Two-Step Helmet Adjustment

  1. Position side clips: Adjust side clips so that they are positioned just below the ears. This levels the helmet, protecting the front and back of your head. The straps should come to a ‘V’ just below the ears.
  2. Adjust the chin strap: There should be about two fingers worth of space between the chin and strap.

A well-fitted helmet should be level and sit about an inch or so above the eyebrows. Do a quick check. If you can fit more than two fingers in the space between your helmet and brows, the helmet’s not seated properly. Try adjusting the straps again. If the helmet wobbles, you may need a different size or style.

We recommend an MIPS-equipped helmet. MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system. These helmets contain an extra shell inside that’s designed to slip a bit upon impact, providing added protection. MIPS helmets are designed to reduce the chance of concussion in rotational-related crashes. Regardless of what type of helmet you choose to wear, be sure it’s properly fitted. Even the best helmet will do little good if it’s not worn properly.

Increase Your Visibility
Look for cycling clothes with reflective strips and bright colours. Red, yellow and orange fluorescent clothing have been found to be most visible. We recommend adding extra reflectors to your bike and using bright lights in dim-light conditions, such as fog or on cloudy days. A large variety of front lights and flashing rear lights are available to cyclists. Rechargeable lights are a good option to ensure greatest brightness during a tour.

This season we’ll have a collection of brightly coloured vests available for your use so we’ll have you covered if you forget to bring something bright or don’t own that type of clothing.

Although we run road bike tours not mountain bike tours, we found a great video showing you how best to fit your helmet that applies to Road bike riders also.