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Biking Safety Tips: 10 Ideas for Staying Safe While Biking

— August 17, 2022

Every state has rules that keep cyclists safe. You should read and memorize these rules. You’re responsible for your safety and other road users’ safety. 

The pandemic increased the number of cyclists on the road. We saw more and more bikes as people sought ways to stay active and healthy. Sadly, more bikes meant more fatal bike accidents and bike-related injuries. Cyclists face severe risks when they ride their bikes downtown, on a nature trail, bike path, or around the neighborhood. Issues like reckless driving, unsafe lane changes, visibility, cruising at high speed, or cycling in traffic with little experience exacerbate biking risks. So, how can we bike safely?

I will list ten safety tips to keep in mind as you ride your bicycle.

Don’t Drop Your Helmet 

Helmets minimize the risk of severe injury and death in case of a bike accident. Always wear your helmets. It doesn’t matter if it is a road, commuter, or motorized bike. 

When you purchase a helmet, check the sticker. Check whether the helmet provides maximum protection in case of an injury. Also, look out for CPSC, ASTM, Snell, or ANSI labels. The labels show that it satisfies safety standards. If you have a hand-me-down helmet, ensure it’s in perfect shape.    

Be Aware of Blindspots

Sneaky drivers always look for ways to maneuver and beat the traffic. Such drivers seek a way out by nosing their vehicles out of the driveway. Therefore, approach such drivers cautiously. 

You’ll need to be extra careful when riding bikes with limited visibility or maneuverability. A chopper bike is a perfect example of a bicycle with limited visibility and maneuverability. Chopper bikes, especially those with exaggerated apes, keep your hand at eye level. The apes may restrict your visibility as you cycle. Also, the weight at the front makes it hard to make quick turns. Due to its front weight, avoid situations that force sudden turns.   

Reflective Clothing

Drivers should notice you. Drivers don’t intentionally ignore cyclists. They naturally lookout for big objects while driving. Therefore, put on reflective and colorful clothing to remain visible. Remember, most roads don’t have dedicated bike lanes. You’ll use the same lanes with drivers who may fail to notice you. But with bright and reflective clothing, they’ll spot you.  

Protect Your Skin

Your clothes will not protect UV rays from harming your skin. Not unless you put on high-SPF protective gear. As you cycle, you lay bare your skin to harmful sun rays. Over-exposure to these rays may harm and age your skin. Therefore always put on high-SPF clothing, cover your head, wear sunglasses, and put on a high-SPF sunscreen.    

Carry a Patch Kit

Bike lane; image by Flo Karr, via
Bike lane; image by Flo Karr, via

You’ll need to be prepared to handle any flat tire or breakdown that may crop up as you ride your bike. Ensure your patch kit has a puncture repair kit, multi-tool, spare tube, a mini pump, foldable spare tire, and tire levers. They will come in handy as you cycle over long distances. 

Signal, Signal, and Signal 

Use your hand to communicate as you ride your bike. Signal as you make a turn. Also, give other users signals when making a stop or slowing down. Always signal a driver before passing them, when approaching blind spots or passing other road users. 

Also, keep making eye contact with drivers. Do not assume they will notice you.  

Fix Any Mechanical Issues on Your Bike

Before heading out on a cycling run, check your bike. Check whether the brakes are working.

Inflate the tires. Adjust the seat to a comfortable height and leg level. Assess the gears and chains and check your helmet or riding gear for damages.

Stay on Dedicated Bike Lanes

Some municipalities have carved out lanes for cyclists. Take advantage of these lanes. Use the bike lane whenever it.

Focus on the Road

Minimize distractions as you ride your bike. Hold the bars as you cycle except when giving signals. Stash away all electronics and pay attention to the road. Carry water bottles that are easy to flip and operate with one hand. Always keep your eye on cars approaching you. It will help you make safe turns. Also, flow with the traffic. Don’t cycle against it. 

Memorize Biking Rules 

Every state has rules that keep cyclists safe. You should read and memorize these rules. You’re responsible for your safety and other road users’ safety. 

A Wrap

Riding our bikes is good for our mental and physical health. However, bikes expose us to many fatal injuries because we share the road with other road users. The number of bike-related accidents keeps surging as more people embrace the cycling lifestyle. However, if we purposefully try to ride safely, we will reduce these cases and nurture a healthy population. Before heading out, set your bicycle for the road. Also, put on the right gear and follow all the road and cyclists’ rules. 

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