Wednesday 12 Mar 2014
With more and more people taking to two wheels to beat congestion across the South, BBC Radio Solent is urging listeners to Think Bike and be part of Hampshire Safer Roads Partnership's campaign.
Think Bike aims to encourage road users to take care of themselves and take responsibility for each other.
Every day this week (19-23 October) BBC Radio Solent's Breakfast Show will be broadcasting stories from those whose lives have been affected by accidents involving bikes and motorcycles, as well as looking into difference aspects of life on two wheels.
Solent presenter and vicar of St Michael's Church, in Bugle Street, Southampton, Tim Daykin, relies on his trusty pedal cycle to make it to his services on time after presenting the station's Sunday Morning Faith Show.
And to help highlight Think Bike's safety messages he agreed to submit his bike to a safety check, by local cycle expert Barny Phelps and Ken Guy, Road Safety Coordinator for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service – a Think Bike partner.
Giving Tim's bike the once over, Barny, from the Hub Cycleworks in Southampton, said they found a couple of very common issues with Tim's bike: "The brakes were not set up correctly, which happens on a lot of bikes.
"You need the brake blocks to hit the rim nice and squarely to stop properly. It is a big safety issue – make sure your brakes work properly. If you aren't sure, get a bike specialist to check them out. You wouldn't drive your car without good brakes.
"Tim's front wheel was also on the wrong way round - the tyre tread was going the wrong way round so it won't give as good a grip and dispel surface water."
He added: "Think Bike is a great idea – getting car driver and bikes to think about each other's positions."
Ken, who works with the local authorities to improve road safety, added: "People should Think Bike not just across a week and not just across the South. It should be across the country and all the time.
"It is all about respect. If every road user – bikes, cars and pedestrians – respected every other road user we would all be able to use our roads in safety."
Following his safety check, Tim said: "Since we moved to the city centre I use my bike to get around awful lot, such as visiting parishioners, and, on a Sunday morning, I cycle to the studio. It's amazing what 10 minutes on a bike can do to wake you up on a frosty morning.
"But looking after my bike is probably something that I am not as good at as I should be, so Barny's advice was very helpful. Also, Ken showed me how to adjust my helmet correctly so the straps go round my ears, which I never knew was important, so it was a very useful exercise.
"When I was a kid I only ever had second-hand bikes, generally reconditioned in Santa's Workshop. So this bike, which I got about 10 years ago, was the first brand-new one I have ever had. Not bad at 45!"
For more information on BBC Solent visit bbc.co.uk/solent.
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