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BIKING SAFETY TIPS

Proper fitting of equipment on the bicycle is important in cycling safety. Especially for children, learning to ride on a bicycle that is not fit to our body size (either it is too heavy, too big or too small) can cause loss of balance and control. Even parents need to ensure that the bicycle they use fits them.

Safety Rules and Tips

It takes more than just skill to be a good cyclist. It also takes smarts – particularly when cycling on busy streets. It is important that parents teach their children the rules of the road.  It is also important that parents follow the rules of the road.  Teaching by example helps keep everyone safe.  Follow these safety tips:

  • Always wear a Helmet - even it isn't the law and ensure that it is fitted properly.
  • Use proper hand signals.
  • Before making a lane change, turn your head to do a shoulder check. First, make sure the lane your moving into is clear, do another shoulder check and then proceed.
  • Make eye contact with drivers to be sure you have been seen.
  • Children should always tell parents where they are going on their bikes.
  • Teach children to ride in safe areas- avoid parking lots, paths through wooded areas, secluded areas, loose gravel and busy roads.
  • Don't ride beside trucks or other large vehicles and avoid heavy traffic.
  • Look well ahead. This way you can spot problems before they happen.
  • When you're passing parked cars, if there's room, ride as though the car doors were open.
  • Don't ride too fast. When there's a traffic jam or a lot of pedestrians, slow down.
  • Never ride with a passenger on the handle bars.
  • Don't let children ride at night.
  • Ride across cross-walks.
  • Never pull or get pulled by another bike, vehicle, rollerblade, etc.
  • Keep hands on handlebars.
  • Never wear headphones when riding a bike.
  • Ride in single file.
  • Avoid biking on rainy days.
  • Teach children to keep feet on pedals when riding.
  • Place both feet on the ground when stopped.
  • Be aware of driveways and lanes.  Look both ways and stop before crossing.  This is especially important to teach young children when they are learning to ride on sidewalks.
  • Watch for merging paths or lanes.  
  • Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and obey all other road signs.
  • Ride across busy intersections with the lights as a pedestrian.
  • Bikes are considered vehicles and must follow all rules of the road. Bikes are not permitted on expressways or freeways.
  • Always ride in control.
  • Children riding in a bicycle cart, tandem or bike seat should also wear helmets.

 

Bike Tune-up and Tools for The Road

A quick safety inspection before every bike ride, to check the frame, wheels, gears, handlebars, brakes, seat and pedals will ensure everything is in good order.  A portable tool kit and air pump strapped to a bike can be a saving grace when something goes wrong during a ride. 

Items to consider a tool kit:

  • Always ride in control.
  • Children riding in a bicycle cart, tandem or bike seat should also wear helmets.
  • Spare inner tube - if traveling as a family, at least one spare tube for each bike tire size.
  • Tire irons
  • Patch kit
  • Money (spare change for emergency calls or a cab ride)
  • Chain tool (with a few spare links)
  • A set of Allen keys or a prepackaged tool kit
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Food (energy bars)
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen

 

Cyclist Safety Gear

No matter how careful you are, you still can be injured while riding.  Safety Gear can help reduce the severity of injuries as a result of a fall.  In addition to a helmet, which all cyclists should wear to protect against head injury.

Here is a list of gear that should be worn by cyclist:

  • Chain tool (with a few spare links)
  • Wear proper foot wear - running shoes and ensure laces are done up to avoid getting caught in chain.
  • Avoid pants with wide bottom legs that can get caught in chains.
  • Cycling gloves will absorb some of the impact in a fall and reduce injury to hands.
  • Reflective clothing should be worn, even during the day, just in case the ride goes into the evening or dusk hours.  
  • Bright clothing increases the chance of being seen by other cyclists and drivers.
  • Equip bike with horn, reflectors and a light.  
  • Have Sunglasses handy and wear them if it is sunny to protect eyes - children too - but look for shatterproof glasses.
  • Never Race other riders or vehicles.
  • Teach children to ride safely - no wheelies, keep hands and feet on bike (unless stopping of course - when both feet should be on the ground.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally and often.

 

 

 

 

 

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