Biking has been on the rise in the United States, and nowadays the increase can be seen all around us. More people are giving biking a try and taking their family for a ride as well. More experienced riders are on the road taking advantage of the light traffic. Whether you have been biking for a long time or just dusting off your bike to give it a try, a few safety tips will help you keep going.
1. Bikes require maintenance, especially if you have not taken yours out in a while. Before starting your ride, check your “ABCs”:
A = Air – tire pressure is good
B = Brakes – make sure they work
C = Chain – check that it’s not loose
2. Wear a helmet – for riders under 17 it’s the law, for everybody else, it’s common sense
3. Follow the rules of the road: bikes = vehicles
4. Be Seen – be sure to wear bright clothes. Reflective too for night riding.
5. If you’re going to be riding near/after sunset you need to have a white light on the front and a red light in back – it’s the law. And reflectors are not enough
6. Be predictable – don’t weave in and out of your travel lane or enter the road between parked cars
7. Ride with a family member – You’re more visible when riding with others.
8. Be Alert- skip the phone, and don’t ride distracted. Store your phone in a handlebar bag.
9. Be Heard – have a bell or horn on your bike- it’s the law
10. Let other cyclists know if you’re about to pass them
11. Be considerate of pedestrians. If you’re riding on a sidewalk or side path, let them know you’re approaching. Use your bell or horn and/or your voice.
12. Travel at a safe distance – at least 6 feet – from other cyclists and pedestrians
13. Find a route according to your level of comfort. You can find maps here https://gmtma.org/biking/ and here. For more maintenance tips go here and check out this safety video from our friends at KMM. If you need more help with maintenance bike shops in our area are open for tuneups and maintenance, just give them a call ahead to make arrangements.
Stay safe, enjoy the ride, and don’t forget to check out our You Ride. We Give event. For every pledge, photo, or story we will donate to local food banks: Mercer Street Friends, Rise, and The B.E.A.T Center.