The epidemic, rising fuel prices and the challenges of climate change – as well as battery technology and e-bike solutions – have combined to drive cycling.
If you are in the boom group, remember these tips to stay safe and avoid accidents.
1. Look, but ride if you can’t sit – Adding lights to your bike will make it stand out, day or night. Strobing lights are better than spotlights. You can also add lights to your outfit, with colorful clothing that works wonderfully at dawn, dusk and when the sun shines. Despite trying to be seen, climb as if you’re wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
Drivers naturally look for cars moving in circles rather than the few cars that travel about a third of the way down the road, because that’s what they encounter most of the time. Self defense:
- Avoid standing directly next to vehicles with high profile; they may not see you in the mirror – a potential problem if they turn around.
- Look both ways through the intersection before crossing, even if you have a green light.
- Keep checking for obstacles with your hands on the brakes. Safe driving also involves riding a bike.
2. Be prepared with the essentials – You cannot drive a car without airbags or seat belts. Also, never ride a bike without the necessary safety equipment:
- Helmets protect your head if you fall or are thrown from your bike.
- Sunglasses or clear safety glasses can protect you from dust, debris, wind and even rocks thrown by cars or trucks.
- Gloves add protection if you fall. The first thing you do when you fall is hold your hand up to prepare for the fall, but having a broken hand on the street for weeks can make everyday activities difficult.
- Always be prepared with enough water to stay hydrated.
- An extra tube with a mini pump is useful in case of a flat tire.
- Your phone is a lifeline that keeps track of your location when you get lost or in an emergency and need to call for a ride.
And don’t forget the basics: check your tire pressure and test your brakes.
3. Follow the rules and to be obvious – Use hand signals to indicate turns. Get on and cars in bike lanes, not against cars.
Avoid riding behind large vehicles that block your view. Don’t run through stop signs or red lights: the goal is to ride in a clear lane. Local laws may vary.
4. Plan your route – Your choice of strategy is important. Consider traffic conditions, road conditions and whether your speed matches the speed of traffic. Consider taking side roads when climbing a mountain or riding a storm. This is especially true if you are on the road. It is also polite.
The more transparent the method, the safer it is. Lesser ways – commercial and residential – are safer. The smaller the electrical field, the safer it is. Riding on roads is advised against – and prohibited in some areas. Drivers, especially in cities with heavy traffic and few pedestrians, are used to scanning the road for obstacles. Research shows an increase in the roadside it is very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Eight states even ban street riding.
Using the bike lane is a great option, but make sure you treat pedestrians as you would want them to treat you. Beware of dogs on long leashes – the noise from the freehub whirring as the coast goes can send our furry friends into an unexpected frenzy. If you are using a one-way street, you will want to take the third right, but not on the white line. It greatly increases visibility, but also reduces proximity. Riding on the white line will try many to “squeeze” with you.
5. Choose the right tool for the job – Not all bikes are created equal, depending on your purpose. Novice or older riders may choose to use external power to assist their legs, in other words, e-bikes. Riders who are not confident in their performance, or are riding on gravel or dirt, may choose to use larger tires with deeper treads. If you ride on smooth asphalt for long distances, you may want handlebars with thinner road tires. This may not seem like a safety concern, but a mountain bike on the road is too slow to keep up with traffic and expectations, and a road bike on a dirt road is a tightrope walker.
Remember that you are dealing with two wheels, not four. It is easy to forget that the bike does not turn easily or stop quickly, and certainly does not have a protective metal roll cage. With this in mind, be very careful, especially if the conditions are appropriate, such as wet slippery tires or poor visibility due to cloudy, rainy or sunny conditions.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is safety. Your life and health are worth a lot of effort.
This waste management information is advisory only. The author is not responsible for monitoring or controlling waste management activities. Not everything is covered in this article. Contact your local, independent Bolder Insurance Advisor for insurance advice and loss control information.
This article is provided by The Cincinnati Insurance Company, a partner of Bolder Insurance.