You want to enjoy awesome bike rides, explore scenic terrain and have fun while riding your bike. But staying safe should be a priority; population health management experts and those interested in peak performance suggest that there are many ways for cyclists to stay safe on the roads while getting fit, feeling fabulous, heading to work or enjoying the scenery.
You may be biking around town, getting to and from work or going on an extended bicycle tour in a picturesque locale. Whichever your reason for riding, there are steps you can take to make the ride as safe as possible. Many people would like to bike more but, according to StreetsBlogUSA, 54 percent are afraid of getting hit by a car or truck.
Before You Go
Make sure that your bicycle is one that fits and suits your physical condition. Put your helmet on before you get on the bike and before you leave. Anything you are carrying should be lightweight and be put in a carrier, in a backpack or tied down tightly. Clothing should be brightly colored or florescent if riding after dark. According to the Hong Kong government, in an area where many people ride bicycles, you should have your route planned before you leave home.
First of all, drive in the direction with traffic, not against it. If in town, obey all traffic signals, signs and road markings. Put down your phone; do not use it while riding. Stay on the right side in a single line, not riding abreast of other cyclists. Use the marked bike lanes when they are available. Always have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
Signal when turning, using the left arm to signal both signals, left and right. A left hand turn is indicated with your arm straight out. A right hand turn is indicated with your arm in an "L" position, bent at the elbow. You can also make an armband signaler.
Gear For Safety
While riding at night, have a white headlight and red taillight. This is true at sunrise and sunset as well. You should have reflectors on both the front and back of your bike. Make sure your brakes are in great working order. A horn or bell is a necessary accessory, especially if you drive within the city. A stat-of-the-art helmet can keep track of fitness as well as protect your head.
Kids and Bikes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some suggestions when it comes to kids riding bicycles and staying safe. They urge children to stay in a straight line and not weave in and out of traffic. The have suggestions similar to the ones above but written for kids and teens. Some things for kids to be aware of are:
- Adjust your bicycle
- Wear a helmet
- Check equipment
- Look for hazards and be seen
- Avoid riding at night
- Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars
Read more here at the NHTSA website for bicycling kids.
Now you know some ways to keep safe while riding in the city. The same rules apply while riding on country roads. If a bicycle lane is there, use it. You can be safe if you are aware of your surroundings, wherever you go. Don't let fear stop you from enjoying your bicycle. Learning methods for staying safe are necessary and a part of learning how to ride a bike, whether you are fifteen or fifty. Enjoy the rush of biking safely, wherever you go.