Five Safe Biking Rules
OK here we are in springtime and a lot of bikers are going to be out on the road - not the V-Twin kind, the peddling kind both young and old and before I see yet another news story about a bicyclist getting hit by a car, let's look at a few safety rules.
First of all take your present body weight, add about 30 more pounds and determine your odds against a 2 1/2 ton motor vehicle with the inertial mass of travelling slowly even 30 mph. Not too good eh?
Five Critical Safe Biking Rules for the Road
1. Protect your head - yes I know bicycling helmets look dumb, but a cracked skull/concussion, double-vision, recurrent headaches or worse - you could get if you fall, they're worth you looking a little nerdy. Especially for kids.
2. Stay visible! Don't wear dark clothing to bike near sunrise/sunset, I'm not saying you have to spend big bucks on a sleek lime-green bicycle riding suit, but wear bright colors - you want those in the massive metal objects moving along at 60 mph to see you well in advance. Be noticeable.
3. Obey all traffic laws, act as if you are a car and stop at stop signs, signal lights and so forth. Go with the flow of traffic, never against. And know hand signals for turning left, right and stopping. And by the way, use both hands on the handle bars as much as possible. If you need to carry something get a nice basket for the front bars or a bigger capacity 'saddle bag' basket for the rear end.
4. Stay alert - again, cars will wipe you out in a millisecond. No texting, it's even dangerous to have on headphones listening to music, etc., while you're riding. You may not hear approaching emergency vehicles sirens and so forth. At least if an ambulance hits you, help will arrive quickly so that's a good thing. Step off and briskly walk your bike across dangerous intersections.
5. Know your machine and its limits and capabilities. Learn how the gears work if you have them; if the chain came off a sprocket miles from home could you slip it back on? Check your tire air pressure often, just like your car. Have a horn and if you ride in congested areas one of those orange flags on a stick would be nice. Learn to oil your chain and know when it needs oiling, understand how the brakes function.
And lastly, keep your head on a swivel have a global awareness of all traffic around you and what's going on in general. Have fun, get some fresh air and exercise and keep on peddling.