Bicycles are rapidly becoming one of the hottest forms of transportation among people who value productivity. After all, your decision to ride a bike to work helps you fit in a round of physical activity that helps you stay healthy while also saving money on gas. While you should be excited about your decision, you may also be a little apprehensive about riding in a busy community. As you prep for your new commute, use these tips to increase your safety on the road.
Know the Laws
In most states, bicyclists must follow laws that are similar to those that apply to drivers of vehicles. For example, you will typically be required to stay on the right side of the road and obey traffic signals. However, some areas make a few allowances for bicyclists to encourage a steady flow of traffic and increase safety. For instance, you may be able to yield at a stop sign rather than coming to a complete stop when traffic is not coming from the opposite direction. Since these laws can vary from one city to another, you must find out which ones apply to your route.
Perform Regular Bike Checks
Your bike should undergo regular inspections just like you would perform on your car. If your bike has been parked for awhile, then bring it out of storage and get it professionally inspected. Often, a bicycle repair such as replacing the brakes is needed before you can ride safely on public roads. Once your bike is up to speed, check it before every ride for issues such as a deflated tire that could cause you to lose control. You should also arrange for an inspection anytime that your bike is exposed to a situation that could cause damage such as a crash or being left outside in severe weather.
Increase Your Visibility
Bicyclists must always remember that they are smaller than the average vehicle, which means that they are harder to see. While auto drivers should always watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, you can do things to increase your visibility. Try to wear reflective clothing as you ride to work. A jacket designed for bicyclists can easily fit over your work clothes and provide protection from the elements. You should also install lights and reflectors to make it easier for motorists to see you in the evening hours.
Now that you are ready to increase the health benefits of your commute, you must take steps to ensure that you stay safe. While many communities are becoming more bike-friendly, you can increase your safety by making sure that your bike is in top condition and that everyone can see you on the road.Share