There's no doubt about it, hitting the road on a bike is good for your heart, good for the earth and generally a good time. Now that summer is here, it is even a good time to brave the elements. But bike riding can end up a not-so-good adventure if you fail to follow some fairly straightforward safety and security rules, both for riding the bike and parking the bike.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists the following 10 Smart Routes to Bicycle Safety:
- Protect your head - wear a helmet.
- Make sure your bicycle is adjusted properly.
- Always check your brakes before you start riding.
- Ensure that you can see clearly and that you can be clearly seen by others.
- Avoid biking at night.
- Always watch out for obstacles in your path.
- Cycle with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Always be aware of the traffic around you.
- Know and obey the rules of the road.
- Check that your quick release wheels are firmly fastened.
When it comes to protecting your bike against theft, there's no substitute for having a good lock - and making sure you use it no matter how safely you think your bike is parked. Use a lock with a key, and tether it to a fixed pole or bar - ensuring it can't be slid off the end. U-shaped locks are considered best, especially when used with a cable. If in an unsafe area, use multiple locks! Be sure to have photographs of your bike or note identifying information in case your bike is stolen (in which case, report it to the police!).
Have a great weekend and happy riding!