Bicycling has become one of America’s favorite pastimes. While golf courses were the hot commodity in every neighborhood 10 years ago, bike trails are now all the rage. Whether you are purchasing the bike to start riding as a hobby, or you are going to be using it for other reasons, it is definitely a good idea to have one. With the prices of gas and car insurance soaring, riding a bike to get to work or run errands can save you a large amount of money, but being safe while on your bicycle should be your main priority. It is important to understand exactly how to be safe while preparing to ride your bike and also while you are in the act of riding. In this article I am going to be going over a few simple tips that you can take in order to insure you are being as safe as possible while riding on your bicycle.
Check Your Bike Before Riding
This should only take you a few seconds. Before you go to take your bike out for a cruise you should make sure that everything is working properly on the bike. Check the tires to make sure they have enough air, the brakes to make sure they are tight enough, and lastly make sure that the chain is oiled up and on tight as well.
Always Wear Your Helmet
You may notice that many people don’t wear a helmet when they ride their bicycles. This isn’t the smartest idea in my opinion. Wearing a helmet is important in the instance a car may pull in front of you or if you hit a bump in the road and take a spill. The last thing you want is to crack your head open because you were trying to look cool or didn’t take the proper measures to protect your noggin.
Look Out For Others
Make sure that while you are riding you are not only paying attention to what you are doing, but also to what everyone else around you is doing. You may get the white light that tells you to cross a busy intersection because all the other cars have a red light at the time, however there may be some idiotic driver (to put it in a nice way) that decides to run the red light. If you were not paying attention and this were to happen, you may be struck by the vehicle. However, if you were paying attention the whole time you would have seen the car speeding down the road and waited to cross the street. It is hard to judge what other people are going to do, so make sure that you always stay on your toes and on the lookout when you are riding.
Stick To Sidewalks and Bikeways
Many cities have incorporated lanes that are to be used only by people riding bicycles. These are for your safety and usually keep you a good distance away from vehicle traffic. If your city or town does not have lanes specifically for biking it is always recommended to stick to the sidewalk rather than going into the road, as drivers are often erratic and could bump into you by mistake and cause a serious injury.
As long as you understand the rules of the road and are always safe, riding a bicycle can be a blast. Not only are you enjoying the breeze in your face while cruising the streets, you’re not wasting any gas or harming the environment in any form. Always remember to look twice, wear a helmet, and watch out for moving vehicles and you should have no troubles! For more information on bicylew saftey please visit the NHTSA.
This article was written by Colin Quinn who is a writer at the law offices of Rue, Ziffra & Caldwell.