Biking Safety Tips
Biking Safety – Five safety tips
Warmer weather often means getting outdoors and here are some important safety reminders as you get on the trail or road with your bike:
- Is your equipment safe? – get a tune-up before heading out. Check to see if your chain, brakes, tires, and other vital equipment are in good working condition. If you aren’t a skilled bike mechanic, set-up an appointment at your local bike shop or utilize a mobile bike service that comes to your home. Keep in mind that Colorado has an extremely active cycling community and spots at local bike shops fill up quickly this time of year.
- Increase your visibility – brightly colored clothes are popular in cycle attire for a good reason. Brightly colored clothes make you more visible to cars and other riders. Placing a bike light on your front handle bar and tail light on the back of your bike can greatly increase your visibility. A basic light kit is very affordable (usually under $20) and is very easy to install. The newer LED lights are extremely bright. Aim to increase your visibility at intersections. Avoid hanging out in the blind-spot of other cars at red lights.
- Know the rules of the road -Become familiar with the rules of the road. In Colorado, bicycle and motor vehicles share the same rights and responsibilities. Try to ride single file when in a group. In Colorado, it is legal to ride two-abreast, unless it impedes the flow of traffic. In general, riding single file increases the safety of everyone If you choose to use a recreational trail, please be aware of etiquette. In general, bicyclists yield to pedestrians and both pedestrians and cyclists must yield to horses. Downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic.
- Communication is key – Being a predictable rider increases your safety. Communicating your direction changes is paramount to safety. Use of hand signal is extremely valuable, so please learn them and use them. Verbal signals such as “on your left” when passing other riders are very useful, too. Although it may be tempting to use headphones while out on the trail or road, it is NOT advised. The ability to hear other vehicles or riders approaching you from behind can prevent injury. Also, have a planned route and make sure that others in your group are aware of it.
- Are you physically ready to ride? – Are you physically fit enough for your ride? Building stamina AND your saddle/sitting tolerance take time and should be eased into. Have plenty of water, sunscreen, and any necessary equipment like spare tubes on your person for your rides. Bring an ID, insurance card, credit card, and some cash for any emergencies. There are also ID bracelets available for purchase that allow your to list an emergency contact.
Saddle up and be safe!
Below are some great resources:
Multiple bike maps for the state of Colorado can be found at:
Rules of the road for Colorado:
Wrist ID bracelet:
16 Jun, 2017