Bike Safely: 8 Ways to Stay Safe While Cycling on The Street
If you are looking for a fun and healthy hobby, you should consider cycling. As one of the best low-impact exercises that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, cycling has numerous health benefits for both the body and the mind. Riding your bike is a fantastic way to improve cardiovascular health, promote weight loss, strengthen your body, and increase your brainpower. However, as fun as cycling is, riding your bike on the street poses many risks, so it is crucial to be as cautious as possible.
Bike Accidents Are on the Rise
According to the U.S department of transportation, deaths involving bicyclists have increased over the years. Each year at least 2 percent of all car accidents involve someone riding their bike, so bike safety has never been more important. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bike accident, it is essential to get in touch with a lawyer who specializes in those cases immediately.
So whether you just picked biking to improve your physical fitness or have been a cycler for years, here are eight ways to ensure your safety while riding on the street.
Always Wear A Helmet
The easiest and most important thing you can do to ensure your safety while riding a bike is to wear a helmet. Head injuries are one of the leading causes of all fatal bike injuries and can be easily avoided if you just remember to wear a helmet.
Wear Reflective Clothing
One of the biggest causes of bike accidents is lack of visibility. Even in the daylight, it can be hard for motorists to see you before it is too late. Of course, if a driver can’t see you, there is a high chance you could be injured. Consider installing reflectors to your bike as well as wearing reflective clothing like bright vests to increase your visibility.
Inspect Your Bike
Sometimes bike accidents can occur from equipment malfunctions. That is why it is essential to always do a routine check before going out for a ride, whether riding an electric bike or a standard bike. It is crucial to make sure your tires are properly inflated, your chain is intact, and your brakes are working. Just taking 5 minutes to check your bike could save you from a devastating injury. If you use a bike share system it is imperative that you both take great care of your shared bike.
Aside from routine checks before riding, perform regular maintenance work on your bike. Clean your whole bike carefully, from the handlebars up to the crankset of your road bike. Lubricate moving parts, such as chains and brakes, and change worn-out accessories. Better yet, take your bike to a professional bike shop for servicing.
Keep Your Hands on the Handle Bars
No matter how great your balance is, riding without your hands on the handlebars is never a good idea, especially on a busy street. With this in mind, if you are cycling for a while, ensure you invest in a bikepacking bag to store any belongings you need with you. If you don’t have your hands on your bike, it will take longer for you to react if there is a car, pedestrian, or debris in your path.
Ride With The Flow Of Traffic
Whenever you are riding your bike on a busy road, it is crucial to always ride with the flow of traffic and in the same direction as the cars. Not only does this minimize the risk of an accident, but you are less likely to get severely injured if you are hit from behind than head-on. In addition, if you ride in the opposite direction and get involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle, you could be at fault.
Stay Off the Sidewalks
Even though sidewalks may seem safe, riding on a sidewalk can be extremely dangerous. Not only are sidewalks filled with pedestrian walkers, but sidewalks are usually uneven and cause you to lose control. You could easily hit a crack in the pavement and go flying over the handlebars. It is also dangerous to enter the street from the sidewalk as cars will be less likely to notice you.
Use Bike Lanes
Not all roads have bike lanes, but be sure to use them if you see them, as they are specifically designed to keep you safe.
Have Fun and Be Safe
As long as you follow these guidelines, cycling can be a fun and healthy hobby that can improve your overall well-being.
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