Bike riding is more than just another way to get in a great round of cardio exercise. Biking is becoming a popular way to get from place to place during a daily commute. But one of the things that might be forgotten when out on the road or trails is bicycle safety. Bikers sometimes travel at high rates of speed as well as being exposed to the elements and other people on the road. Whether it’s a casual ride around a neighborhood or a long ride from one point to the next, the following suggestions will make any biker much safer while out and about.

First, always wear a helmet. While a helmet can not save you from all injuries, it will help protect your head from any head related traumas. Everywhere across the United States and Europe has its own laws and regulations for helmet usage, so before going without one, check the laws in your area. Remember in the United States that all children under 12 need to wear a helmet when riding, and in some states the age limit is as high as 18. Helmet fashion has also come a long way. Companies now make helmets that keep track of your fitness information while also protecting your head at the same time!

It is also important to make sure that the brakes on the bike you are riding are in good condition. Just like a car, the brake pads on a bike can become worn down over time and will need to be replaced. The more you ride, the more you will need to replace the pads. Don’t forget to add reflectors and a white headlight and red taillight to alert drivers when riding during sunrise or sunset. These alert riders that you are there so that they can share the road with you.

Another huge part of bicycle safety is being safe while out on the road. The most important thing is to bike on the road in the same direction as the flow of traffic. It is illegal to be on and off the sidewalk and only bikers under 12 years of age are legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk. It is also important to obey the basic rules of the road like stopping at stop signs and red lights as well as obeying other traffic signs exactly like you would in a car. If at all possible, try to bike on paths or lanes specifically designed to accommodate riders.

Taking these precautions while out on a bike ride will not only make you safer, but will make pedestrians and other cars around you safer as well. Remember to check the laws and regulations before you head out on your next ride.