Biking is a popular activity enjoyed by people of all ages. many cities across the United States have plenty of bike lanes and are considered bike-friendly communities. However, your morning commute or joy ride can still be dangerous. You don’t want to wind up at your New Orleans chiropractor because of a biking incident. Here are a few bike commuting safety tips.
Plan Your Route
With so many bicycle paths, trails and lanes, there is really little need to ride on very busy roads. Spend the necessary time it takes to map out the safest route possible. The ideal place to start is with Google Maps. There are also apps you can get where other bike riders share their knowledge of good bike routes.
Using these trip planning tools will help you avoid high-traffic roads and other obstacles like difficult intersections and light-rail tracks. But even on the safest of routes, you will be riding shared roads so be careful.
It is all too easy to become distracted while riding your bike. At any point during your ride, an obstacle can present itself. If you are approaching an intersection, never assume you know what a car will do. A car with the left blinker on may actually make a right turn. Try to keep an eye on the car wheels as this is your best indication which way the car is going.
If you are going to get a flat tire, it will be on the day you are running late for an important meeting. And if you don’t have the proper tools to made the necessary repairs, you will never make it to that meeting. In addition to bike tools, you should also always have your cell phone with you, in case you break down and repairs can’t be made on the fly. It is also a good idea to carry some spare change in case you don’t have an air pump and need to fill your tires at a convenience store.
You probably already have a quality, well-fitted bike helmet, that is a good start. But your safety equipment shouldn’t stop there. A good pair of gloves will save your hands in the event of a spill. You will also want reflective clothing in addition to bright lights on your bike to make yourself a visible as possible to motorists.
Before you take off, give your bike a quick inspection to ensure everything is properly functioning. Start off by checking your tires to make sure they are properly inflated then check the crankset and chain to make sure everything is aligned. Next, move on to your quick-releases to ensure they are closed.
Use common sense when riding your bike to avoid accidents and other dangerous situations. Pass slower bike riders on the left and make a verbal announcement or ring a bell when doing so. And even though you are out in the open with all sorts of lovely sights, keep focussed on the task at hand.