In order to get the most benefit out of bike riding for enjoyment, as well as an excellent form of exercise, precautions for safety need to be taken. When you plan to go bike riding, following this advice will assist you in maintaining your safety.
The main element in ensuring biking safety is to purchase the proper equipment, and maintain it in a proper working condition. Ensuring that your bike is the appropriate size for you is of paramount importance. Your bike is the proper size if the tips of your toes just reach the ground when you are sitting on it. Avoid a bike that allows your feet to be flat on the ground, or one where you can’t reach the ground at all. It will be necessary to make accurate calculations about the frame size of your bike, if you will be purchasing your bike, sight unseen, online. To accomplish this, you will need to measure the inside of your leg to the ground, and deduct 10 inches to allow for the space between the ground and the bottom of the bike frame. You will want to subtract 3 additional inches if you are purchasing a mountain bike, but only 1 inch if a road bike is your choice. This measurement represents the biggest bike frame that will be appropriate for you. You will have trouble handling one with a frame larger than this. If you are purchasing a bike for a child, this rule is essential as choosing a larger bike for them to “grow into” can be dangerous.
Once you have settled on an appropriate bike, a cycling helmet that fits properly will be your most vital piece of biking equipment to ensure safety, followed by clothing that will make you plainly visible to drivers, if you will be cycling after dark. When you are confident that you have the appropriate biking equipment, you will need to ensure that it is kept in proper condition. Maintenance of your bike will include: maintaining proper inflation of tires and examining tires for damage, inspection of brake function and cleanliness, as brakes that are covered in mud may not function properly. Be sure that your bike chain is clean and not obstructed.
You should have a thorough knowledge of traffic rules and be sure to follow them whenever you are on your bike. Bike riders are subject to the rules of the road, just as motor vehicle drivers are. This means maintaining the proper lane when you are in a roundabout, or at a traffic light, and not weaving through cars. It is common for drivers not to see a bike passing, so you need to use extreme caution when you are passing a car or lorry, and guard against cars pulling out in front of you without notice, or opening their door in your path.
Ensure your visibility. In addition to the appropriate clothing to ensure visibility, your bike should have working lights in the front and back. All night riding bikes should have a continuous white light on the front, and the back should be outfitted with a flashing red light. Try to restrict your night riding to streets that have ample lighting.
Be sure to utilize the cycle lane whenever there is one available. This option allows you to remain safer by avoiding biking in traffic traveling at high speeds.
Utilize your hand signals to let other traffic know what you are doing, and when pedestrians enter your path, sound your bell so they are aware of your presence.