Nice day for a bike ride? Whether you are biking to work, to school, or on a leisurely outing, safety is important. Keep the following items in mind to help you stay safe on your bicycle:
- Wear a helmet. Putting on a helmet before every ride reduces the chance of a head injury. It also sets a good example for friends, family, and children to protect themselves when they ride. The helmet must be an appropriate fit to be protective.
- Size matters. In addition to wearing the right size helmet, the size of the bike should also be right for you. If your bike is too big or too small, it can be uncomfortable and difficult to control.
- Stand out. Bright reflective clothing helps make sure you can be seen on your bike, particularly in the early morning, later in the evening, and when cloudy or foggy. Reflective stickers on your helmet and lights on your bike also help drivers, pedestrians, and other bikers notice you.
- Strap up. Keep items like loose shoelaces and backpack straps away from the bike chain and tires so they don’t get caught during your ride. Also, wear appropriate shoes that grip the pedals—don’t ride barefoot.
- Be aware. Pay attention to what is going on around you while you ride. Look ahead for parked cars—a driver may suddenly open the door in front of you. It is also important to hear traffic behind you, so refrain from wearing headphones.
- Road rules. Follow the rules of the road. Traffic laws and responsibilities that apply to drivers also apply to bicyclists. Look for and utilize bike lanes.
- Hand signals. Know and use hand signals while riding:
- Right turn: Stick out your right arm and point to the right or put your left hand up at a 90-degree angle with palm open.
- Left turn: Stick out your left arm and point to the left.
- Stop: Put your left arm straight down with palm open.
There are many benefits to riding a bike, such as getting exercise, enjoying fresh air, and saving on gas money. Follow these tips to help make sure your next ride is a safe ride.