I love me some bicycling. I wouldn’t say I’m an avid cyclist, but it’s something that my whole family enjoys doing. And let’s face it, the window of weather conducive to outdoor cycling in Michigan is limited, so we have to make the most of it when we have the chance, right?
However, riding one’s bicycle isn’t for the faint of heart. Sure, a 4-year-old can do it, but there’s a certain amount of risk involved when you take the streets on two wheels with only a few pieces of plastic protecting you from the pavement and four-thousand-pound vehicles.
So here are some safety tips to keep in mind if you happen to fall into the category of bicycling fan—or if you love someone who does:
- Practice “defensive biking”—keep both hands ready to brake at a moment’s notice.
- Wear protective gear. Yes, that helmet may mess up a great hair day, but it’s much better than the alternative if you get into an accident.
- Use hand signals wherever necessary to indicate whether you are turning or continuing on through an intersection.
- Look ahead for any road hazards that might be coming up. This is where those hands on the brakes will really come in handy.
- Don’t pass on the right side of a vehicle—drivers may not be able to see you coming from the right side.
- Obey traffic laws and signals, just as if you were driving an automobile. This includes biking on the right side of the road.
- Make sure you can be seen. This means ensuring you have a taillight or reflector on your bike at night and are dressed in brightly colored clothing, so you’re easy for motorists to spot in the dark.
Got any other burning suggestions for biking safety? I’d love to hear them! Share your thoughts in the comments below.