Essential Tips for Bicycle Safety
Almost everyone knows how to ride a bike. It's one of the key skills that many people learn as children, and it's something that can stick with someone through their whole life, even turning into a passion or pastime, with countless cycling enthusiasts all over the world riding their bikes on a regular basis.
There are a lot of advantages associated with regular cycling; it can be a very effective and efficient form of cardio exercise, for example, as well as being a great way to connect with nature and explore your local area. It's also a fun bonding activity for friends and families, as well as a green and eco-friendly way to get to and from work each day.
Unfortunately, while cycling brings a lot of benefits, it also has its fair share of risks, and there are many incidents each year in which cyclists find themselves injured in crashes and collisions. Bicycle accidents can have various causes and a range of effects, and in the worst cases, they can even lead to fatalities.
This is why cyclists should always be aware of the risks they may face out on the roads, being ready, willing, and able to cycle safely and sensibly in order to help themselves avoid accidents of any kind. This guide will go over some top tips that you can use each and every time you set out on a bike ride to have fun and stay safe.
Always Wear a Helmet
No list of cycling safety tips can be complete without mentioning the importance of helmets. Even though you aren't always legally obligated to wear a helmet, it is strongly recommended to do so by all the experts, with many studies showing that helmets truly save lives and minimize injuries.
Riding without a helmet puts you at a much higher risk of injures like concussions and TBIs, so always be sure to wear yours when you set out. The quality of the helmet counts too, and it's important to buy a new, well-made helmet that meets cycling safety standards and fits just right.
The helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you can wear while out on your bike, but it's not the only one. There is a range of other cycling safety accessories you can choose to make use of when riding your bicycle.
These accessories can include the likes of gloves, which are designed to give you a firmer grip on the handlebars and prevent the risk of friction burns on your hands if you fall off, as well as pads for other key areas of the body like shins, knees, and elbows too.
Keep Your Bike in Top Condition
Bikes don't stay shiny and new forever. Over time, as you use them, they'll begin to show signs of wear and tear. Parts will gradually break down and may need to be replaced, tires will need to be re-inflated, and other adjustments will have to be made.
Keeping up with bike maintenance can help to extend the lifespan of your bicycle and allow you to spot little issues like low tire pressure or loose chains before those issues develop into anything more serious.
Know Your Limits
Riding a bike is a hugely popular form of physical activity for people who want to lose weight, tone muscle, and stay in shape, and cycling for just half an hour each day can burn off so many calories and help you get the body you want.
However, it's important not to push yourself too far. Many people can suffer sprains, muscle problems, and other injuries by trying to cycle too far, too fast, or for too long, and if you keep pushing yourself even when you feel hurt or tired, you could end up in a serious accident.
An Appropriate Outfit
We've already touched on the importance of helmets and protective accessories, but it's also important to think of the general outfit you choose to wear when you cycle, as some clothes are more suitable for bike-riding than others.
Given that cycling is an intense activity that can quickly make you work up a sweat, it's wise to choose cool, thin fabrics that are effective at moisture-wicking, and you'll also want to avoid any pieces of clothing with loose or flowing sections that could get caught in the wheels.
Check the Forecast
Before setting out on your cycling expeditions and adventures, it's wise to check the weather forecast and see what sort of conditions you can expect to be riding in, as the weather can play a big part in your safety on the roads.
When it rains, for example, roads can be more slippery, increasing your risks of having an accident, and even when it's sunny, you have to worry about things like sunscreen and glare in your eyes which could harm your visibility on corners and turns.
Learn How to Signal
If you're going to be riding your bike on roads with cars and other vehicles, you need to understand the importance of hand signals. These signals are used by cyclists all around the world to stay safe and let other road users know their intentions.
They're quite simple to learn, and they could save your life too, so make sure to check out online guides and tutorials and practice signals on the streets.
Don't Get Distracted
It's easy to let yourself get a little distracted when you're out on your bike. You might be listening to some music as you cycle, for example, and get carried away by the tune, or spot some beautiful scenery and stare at it a little too long.
Taking your eyes off the road ahead is always a risky move and it can massively increase your odds of getting hurt, so try to minimize distractions as much as possible while cycling.
Cycling can be a super way to spend your free time and a key component of a healthy, active lifestyle. Follow these tips to make the most of your cycling time and avoid any unwanted incidents or injuries.