Cycling can be a great way to get some extra fitness into your day. It’s also a great, healthy hobby. Many families go cycling together. Even some places you may go on vacation offer bicycles as the cheapest mode of transportation available (or if you visit Mackinac Island in Michigan, USA, it’s one of the only two modes of transportation, the other being horse-driven carriage).
Accidents can happen when you’re riding a bike. If you have to ride on the street you are at risk of the motor vehicle drivers. Even riding on a sidewalk poses chances for accidents if you aren’t paying attention. Here are some tips for biking safety that will hopefully help you ride safely.
Wear A Helmet
Even if helmets aren’t a law where you live, you should be wearing one every time you head out to pedal. Your helmet could be the one thing that saves your life in case of a fall or an accident involving a motor vehicle. You may not like the look of a bike helmet, but if you being alive to look at yourself, it’s a good investment.
Ride In The Right Area
Some places have put in bike lanes to make riders feel safer and have a place of their own to ride. However, they don’t exist everywhere, yet. If the law says to ride on the road and not the sidewalks, do what it says.
You basically want to be just as careful in any area you are riding, even a bike path in a park. Watch what’s in/on the road, be aware of what’s behind you, and always be seeing the whole picture (just as you would while driving a motor vehicle).
Know The Hand Signals
There are traditional hand signals that cyclists use to alert other people on the road with them when they are turning. Unlike a motor vehicle, your bicycle isn’t equipped with brake lights or a turn signals, so you need to make these gestures with specific hand/arm movements. Learn them before you ride on the road.
Always be alert. It’s safer to go cycling without any sound obstruction so that you can hear when another cyclist says “right” or “left” as they intend to ride by you. You also want to be in full awareness of where you are and who else is around you, whether it’s cars or pedestrians.
Dress For Safety
If you bike often, for hobby or sport, you’re going to want to wear the proper attire. You might want to invest in some biking clothing, something comfortable that allows you free movement. You might want signal gloves, some reflective clothing for biking at night, and even a water bottle attachment for your bike itself.