In addition to experiencing the thrill of adrenaline and blood rushing through the veins while cycling on roads or mountain trails, both road biking and mountain biking offer a range of health benefits.

However, despite the joy cycling can bring, accidents can happen unexpectedly, sometimes in the blink of an eye. Below are common cycling accidents and the best ways to avoid them.

1. Group Collisions

Weekend after weekend, you and your road warrior companions rise before dawn to embark on cycling adventures across Singapore. Your team, a group of cyclists, takes pride in riding together.

However, group riding, while advantageous for reducing wind resistance and covering more distance at the same time, also increases the risk of collisions due to proximity between cyclists.

Group collisions typically result from accidental contact between cyclists and can lead to severe injuries. When a cyclist falls, a domino effect can occur, often resulting in fractures of the clavicle, femur, or concussions.

To avoid group collisions, cyclists should first acclimate to riding alongside others before starting. If there are both experienced and less experienced riders in the group, cyclists should initially ride single-file with 1-2 meters of distance between them. As comfort with drafting improves, the gap can gradually be reduced. Stronger riders should lead the pack, as they face greater resistance than those behind.

To manage expectations and prevent reckless passing, planned rotations of positions among riders should be arranged before setting out.

2. Pothole Collisions

Potholes—hard to spot and a bane for every cyclist. A survey in the UK found that over 56% of Britons would cycle more if there were fewer potholes on the roads.

The most common injuries for cyclists hitting potholes are dislocations of the elbow or shoulder joints, as instinctively, people use their hands or arms to prevent forward falls.

A good way to prevent becoming a pothole victim is to habitually scan the road ahead while cycling and carefully steer clear. Sometimes, avoiding small potholes isn't possible. In such cases, it's best to stay relaxed while passing over them, allowing your arms and legs to absorb the impact.

For deeper potholes where pedals are engaged, attempting to bunny-hop over them by simultaneously gripping the handlebars and pedals might be effective—this maneuver, known as "bunny-hopping," requires practice.

3. Recovery After Injury

If you sustain a minor sprain or strain while cycling, first employ the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for treatment. This effective, non-strenuous self-care technique reduces inflammation, alleviates pain, and promotes healing. RICE can also be used for minor bruises.

For minor cuts, bleeding typically stops on its own. If not, apply firm pressure directly with a clean cloth or gauze. Then, rinse the wound promptly with cool water after ensuring all dirt and debris are removed. Consider applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment and covering the wound with a sterile dressing.

If you suffer a more serious injury but remain conscious and able to travel to the hospital, seek assistance by calling for help.

Cycling is not just a sport but a lifestyle and a way to explore nature. We encourage every cycling enthusiast to enjoy this activity safely, maintain awareness, and acquire essential safety skills and first aid knowledge. May every ride be a safe and enjoyable journey, yielding health, happiness, and endless cherished memories in the pursuit of adventure.