Bikes have become a more popular form of transportation in the last few years, with the number of riders increasing by about 70% within nine years. Both health and environmental concerns play a factor in this, though it’s also fair to say riding a bike is just more fun than driving your car to work. With these new riders, though, comes many inexperienced riders, many of which who don’t know much about staying safe while riding a bike near or on the road. Let’s take a refresher course in bike safety 101.
Before you even get on your bike, you need to wear the proper protective gear. For starters, the one essential piece of equipment above all others is a solid helmet big enough to cover your entire head. Additional protection, like elbow and knee pads or a sturdy coat, are also helpful but not quite as important. Protecting your head is the most critical, as brain damage is no laughing matter.
Just like a car, you’ll have to regularly inspect your bike before taking it out for a ride. Check to make sure the tires are inflated properly, the chains are greased, and the brakes work. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a horn or bell or other noise making device if you’re considering using a bike near busy roads. White and red reflectors in the front and back, respectively, are necessary when traveling around nighttime to avoid being hit, too.
Rules of the Road
There are certain rules bikers must follow the same as motor vehicle drivers. For one, you’re not allowed to ride on the sidewalk if you’re above the age of 12. Anyone older must ride in the street, preferably in a marked bike lane if available. Children must have their own seats installed on a bike if you intend to travel with them. Additionally, it’s important to learn what kind of laws and regulations there are around bikes on the road in your area, and also to learn how to common traffic signals you can perform while riding a bike.
Bike riding is good for your health and reduces your carbon footprint. With the renewed popularity of biking as a form of transportation, it’s important to brush up on proper safety procedures. Follow these tips and you should be able to ride like a pro.