Cycle Smart to Stay Safe

Basic Cycling Guidelines to Ensure You Stay Safe

Zipping through city streets or country roads on your bike can be an exhilarating workout, but any cyclist, no matter their skill level and comfort, should adhere to some basic biking safety protocols.

The most important safety requirement is wearing a helmet that fits your head properly. Helmet sizes differ based on manufacturer, so the only real way to know how it fits is to put it on and adjust the straps. You also want to make sure the bike you’re riding is the right size with functioning. Before your ride, make sure your shoe laces are tucked securely into your pant legs so that they don’t get tangled in the bike chain. It also helps to plan your route ahead of time. If driving on the road, choose areas with less traffic and slower speed limits; for leisurely rides, try to stick to a bike path.

You also want to do your best to avoid crashes; because, regardless of who is responsible, if a cyclist falls or collides with another vehicle, they are often the one who suffers with the physical consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most bicyclist deaths occur between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm in urban areas, so try to avoid riding during these times of day when visibility is limited. If you do decide to ride during dusk or the evening, use reflective gear and clothing as well as a flashing front and rear light.   

 Bicycles on the roadway have the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Riding defensively is the best way to avoid an accident. Drive with the flow of traffic, obey street signs, signals, and road markings, and always assume that the other person or vehicle doesn’t see you. When biking, riders should be as predictable as possible, using hand signals and following the other rules of the road.

These basic guidelines will help ensure your ride is a safe success. 

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