Biking is a perfect exercise for both kids and adults because it’s low-impact and improves strength, balance and endurance. Being located in beautiful California makes it a perfect place to ride… so much so that it’s one of the top 3 states for bike riders!
While biking brings a lot of positive things to riders, there’s still a risk of getting a serious injury. In 2015 alone, there were 467,000 bike-related injuries. Fortunately for us, there are ways to reduce the risk of getting hurt while riding bikes.
Wear a Helmet
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that only 18% of cyclists wear helmets all or some of the time. That number should be 100% of cyclists wearing their helmets 100% of the time.
Even if you get into an accident and sustain a head injury, a study showed that helmets can reduce traumatic brain injury (TBI) by more than 50%. That means you can recover from your injury and continue leading a normal, active life without restrictions. Helmets not only protect your brain, they can help prevent accidents all together by making you noticeable to cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists. You can also use a front and tail light to stand out.
Pre-Ride Bike Checks
Before you take off on your next tour, you should check:
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Not too little, not too much. You should inspect them to make sure they aren’t worn down, cracked or gouged. How are you supposed to ride with a flat tire?
Separate from your tires are your wheels. Examine your front and back wheels’ spokes to make sure none of them are bent or broken. You should also confirm that your quick release levers are locked in tightly. These levers hold the wheel to your bike. Without them, you could turn into Evel Knivel and go soaring of your handlebars.
Give those brakes a squeeze to make sure your front and back brakes are in working order. This goes without saying, but there’s no stopping without them!
Follow the Rules of the Road
It’s no secret that drivers aren’t always fond of cyclists on the road. Riding your bike on the road, even while you’re in a bike lane, comes with innate risks. It’s important that you follow the same rules as drivers while you’re in traffic. When everyone is aware and following the rules of the road, your chances of getting in car-related accident significantly drop.
Don’t run red lights, even if you think there isn’t any oncoming traffic. Use hand signals to let drivers know you’re turning (See image below).
As you start to hit the road, remember:
Wear a helmet.
Check your bike.
Follow the rules.