Bike safety month begins today, May 1st. Do you know enough suitable bike safety tips? You may not always think about safety when riding a bike because to a lot of people, riding a bike is second nature. Even the people who have been riding bikes for years should always be thinking about the safety of themselves and the riders that surround them. When talking about bike safety, it doesn’t necessarily mean bike repairs or mechanical issues. It consists of safe travels in cities, what gear to wear, where to ride and much more. Most of the bike safety tips are simple, can be done before and while you ride. We want you to get from point A to point B safely!
Before riding, lift the bike an inch or so off the ground and gently drop it in order to identify any loose parts that may need attention. Make sure the tires aren’t flat, the brakes work, and the chain is on.
Always limit the number of distractions while riding. Put your phone on silent, don’t text & bike, and keep those headphones off. Even without using your phone or headphones, you need to know your surroundings. Make sure you are looking ahead to see what you’re riding into. If you know the situation ahead, that makes your reaction time to a dangerous situation quicker.
You don’t always need to use hand signals when turning or stopping but they are good to know. They help while riding in a noisy city, with groups, and most importantly will help motor vehicles know what your route is. When crossing the road; look left, look right then look left again.
Before riding in any city, find out what their traffic laws for bikes are. A lot of cities are adapting bike lanes and require you to use them instead of the sidewalk. While it may feel safer, sidewalks are actually a more dangerous place to ride. Stay to the right when you ride in the street. If you have to ride on the sidewalk, you should be riding at the speed of a pedestrian. When passing, ring your bell and pass on the left! Never ever ride against traffic while riding on the road.
Laws vary between states, cities, and parks about wearing helmets. Regardless of what the law says where you’re riding, wearing a helmet is definitely the best safety tip we can give. No matter how severe or minimal the accident may be, your helmet can be the difference between a major or minor injury.
Dress for the weather! Even if it’s bright and sunny as you’re leaving for your bike ride, always check the weather for the rest of the day. You never know when that thunderstorm might hit. You don’t want to be stuck in shorts and a t-shirt if it starts raining. The weather will change what you wear and also how you ride. Find out more about riding in different climates here.
Biking is supposed to be a fun and happy hobby. You should always ride at your own pace and skill level. If you’re not confident enough with your skills while group riding, stay in the back of the group with other slower riders. Take it slow and don’t push yourself too much. Over time you will gain the confidence to ride quicker, longer, and harder.
Group riding can be a great learning experience for any new rider. You will ride with all different skill levels and gain a new appreciation for biking. When riding with a group, you should know your basic hand signals and ride in a single file or two abreast.
Night riding creates the most safety hazards. Not only should you abide by the above safety tips, but you should also make yourself extremely visible. This means wearing bright colors and the least amount of dark colors. Make sure your bike has retroreflective sheets, and if possible wear a retroreflective vest or clothing.
If you’re riding a MoGo and want even more safety tips! Visit our Safety Tips page here.