Biking is a healthy and fun activity. But it can be dangerous, especially if you ignore the laid-down safety tips. On the other hand, your safety will be elusive if you are unaware of what to do. So, what bike safety tips should you follow?
This guide provides bike safety tips for adults that guarantee you a safe riding experience.
Safety Tips: Prepare the Bike
These are the must-do safety tips on the bike. They mainly include maintenance and anything else that keeps the bike in shape.
1. Check Your Bike Before Riding
Most bike accidents emanate from malfunctioning parts. This may be a tire burst, misaligned wheels, or any other malfunction, such as chain slip which may prevent you from cycling out of danger promptly.
Experts recommend a proper bike check before starting any trip, no matter how short it is. This way, you will notice anything that needs attention before leaving, keeping you and others out of harm’s way.
2. Check the Tire Pressure
Tires are critical in enhancing your bike riding experience and your safety. And depending on the bike type and the terrain, you may need different pressures. So, check the pressure to ensure it suits your terrain.
Similarly, if a bike has less pressure, its performance is affected negatively, which can put you at risk of accidents. For example, it may become difficult to navigate and even brake, thus increasing the probability of accidents.
3. Install and Check Reflectors, Lights
Before leaving your home or residence, always check if your reflectors and lights work. These two can mean the difference between being safe or not. Lights help you have better visibility, while reflectors help others see you.
And because these are electrical systems that can fail, checking them before starting your ride is ideal. Otherwise, not checking increases your vulnerability because there is nothing you can do to rectify them in case of a problem.
4. Check Bike Brakes
Your brakes are essential and need to be kept in good working condition. They help you stop and slow down during emergencies, significantly reducing the chances and severity of accidents. Some things to do for proper brake functionality include replacing worn-out ones and lubricating the system where needed.
In addition, never go mountain biking or on routes with vehicles and steep descents with faulty brakes.
Bike Safety Tips: What Do You Need To Pack For A Cycling Trip?
These bike safety tips help you be more visible and mentally and physically fit. The latter is crucial because biking requires sound decision-making and physical strength
5. Check If You Have What You Need for A Cycling Trip
Carrying everything you need is a must-do when it comes to bike safety. Even when going for a short cycle, check you have packed everything. Some of the things to pack include
- First-aid kit
- Bike GPS
- Waterproof bike pouch
A hand pump will help you in case of deflation or if you need to increase the pressure to tackle a specific terrain. On the other hand, a first-aid kit is essential when accidents occur, helping you get care before getting to a medical facility.
A raincoat shields you from the rain, thus improving your comfort, while GPS is helpful in navigation. Spares and tools give you the confidence that you are sorted when one part malfunctions.
6. Prepare Well Before Riding
Preparation before biking is an essential safety strategy. The preparations help you notice anything that is not right and rectify it. Furthermore, preparations also entail testing your skills and knowledge.
For example, you can have a map of your intended route, expected weather patterns, and the capacity of your bike. Knowing your route lets you think beforehand and anticipate any situation for reactions, such as intersections, ascents, descents, and speed limits.
7. Bring Water when Going for Long Rides
Biking is a strenuous activity, and it is only fitting to keep yourself hydrated. When well-hydrated, you will be free from headaches, fatigue, dizziness, pain, or minor pains that come with pedaling.
Furthermore, when discomfort-free, you are more alert and perfect in reacting appropriately and promptly. However, when in pain, your judgment and reaction are affected, which increases accident risks.
8. Wear Reflectors and Bright Clothing
Many bike accidents occur because other road users cannot see you clearly. This is especially common at night or when visibility is affected by weather conditions.
To prevent these occurrences, wear reflectors and other bright clothes. With these, drivers or even pedestrians can see you and thus overtake safely or keep a safe distance.
9. Wear Cycling Shoes
Cycling shoes enhance your biking experience and make pedaling safer and easier. These shoes come in different forms, such as clipless, ensuring your feet stay on the pedal even during descent, thus improving overall safety.
10. Wear a Sunscreen
When riding under the scorching sun, sunscreen can be a lifesaver. With the continued arched position, your neck or hands will suffer, making you uncomfortable. And with the discomfort, you are likely to err and cause accidents.
So, pack a sunscreen tube and wear it if you want to enjoy the riding journey.
11. Bring a Biking Buddy
There is nothing as enjoyable as biking with a friend. But not only that, but it is also a safety tip because when two or more you can help each other when disaster strikes.
Furthermore, other motorists are more alert when they see a group of riders than when a single cyclist is on the road.
12. Carry Cash and an ID
The two might seem obvious, but accidents happen due to the neglect of minor aspects. Cash is helpful when purchasing safety-enhancing essentials like reflectors or a spare.
Similarly, an ID helps in easier identification in case accidents happen.
Bike Safety Tips on the Road
These bike safety tips include what you must do while riding your bike. They include following set out rules and your behavior while on the road.
13. Obey Traffic Rules
Many bikers get into accidents because they assume they are different or have separate rules from other motorists. But this is not true because as long as you are on the road, you are governed by similar rules as others.
These rules include stopping at traffic lights and maintaining speed limits, among others. So always be on the lookout for regulations in every road section if you want to remain safe.
14. Use Appropriate Hand Signals
Bikes are created differently, meaning they may have some limitations in how they operate compared to vehicles. As such, hand signals come in handy when changing lanes, turning, or exiting.
The signals communicate to those behind you to keep a safe distance which helps avoid accidents. However, you must use them appropriately, if your message is to be understood. Additionally, do not use outdated ones that may be confusing.
15. Always Ride with Traffic, not Against it
One of the best bike safety tips for adults is to ride along the traffic flow. Otherwise, drivers and other road users may not anticipate your movements, increasing the risk of accidents.
Also, when riding against traffic flow, you may be unable to use hand signals appropriately. In most cases, if you communicate but are on the wrong side of the road, others will misinterpret them, thus beating the signals’ use and essence.
16. Keep both Hands on the Handlebars unless Signaling
Bike riding involves balancing and a lot of hand and foot coordination. Thus, keeping your hands on the bars for proper balancing and control is critical. Otherwise, you are likely to crash, which can sometimes be severe.
However, with both hands on the bars, you can steer as desired and avoid dangerous situations. Nevertheless, sometimes it is impossible to have both hands on the handlebars, such as when signaling. Still, you should signal and return your hand to its rightful place.
17. Avoid Distracted Riding
Distractions are the number one cause of accidents. This is when your eyes, ears, and mind are not on the road. Basically, your entire body should work in unison when riding. You see or hear something, interpret what to do, and your hands help take action.
Accidents will likely happen if one of these parts does not work as expected. So, avoid too loud music and avoid texting while riding. Instead, stop and take the call or text before resuming your journey. If music is a must, keep it at low levels so you can hear what is happening around you.
18. Keep a Safe Distance from Cars and other Cyclists
Maintaining a safe distance between you and others is a must-do safety tip while on the road. An appropriate length gives you enough space to maneuver and avoid collisions. Maintaining a safe distance also involves safe overtaking especially parallel-parked vehicles.
Such vehicles can suddenly start, return to the road, or open the door and knock you off. The only way to stay out of danger’s way is to overtake from a distance or slow down when near such vehicles.
19. Ride Defensively
Defensive biking is touted as the best way to safe riding. The strategy involves biking while anticipating the worst or with an escape plan. Such a mindset is vital because accidents happen within an eye blink, and a quick reaction can save lives.
Other safety tips in defensive riding include not overspeeding and being wary of your surroundings. This will give you enough time to either slow down or turn away from a bleak situation.
20. Use Bike Lanes or Designated Cycling Paths
Most cities have designated bike lanes and paths. These offer a safe operating zone for cyclists away from motorists. Generally, tracks and lanes are designed exclusively for cyclists, which minimizes contact with cars.
Also, bike lanes have enough distance for cyclists to pass each other, thereby minimizing collisions. There is also a divide between cars and cyclists, creating a safe overtaking space for vehicles.
Following these bike safety tips for adults will increase your safety and ensure you enjoy every bit of the ride. They range from keeping your bike maintained to wearing appropriate clothing to how you act on the road. So, do not lower your guard by ignoring any of these tips.