It’s a perfect summer day — the sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing, and the temperature is just right for biking outdoors! Before you pull your bike out of the garage and head out to the open road, let’s talk about bike safety.
While bicycling is a fun and safe way to stay active, there are a few items to review and rules to follow before hitting the road this season. If we are all following the rules of the road it’s a safer, more fun environment for everyone!
Make sure it fits
Proper bike fit is essential to a safe ride. You want to make sure you are not riding a bike that’s too large or small for you. If you can’t balance the bike with your toes while sitting on the seat, it’s probably too big for you. You want the handlebars to be about the same height as the seat. Your knees should remain slightly bent when you extend your leg as you pedal. Check with a local bike shop for bike fitting to be sure you are safely set up.
Perform a quick safety check
Each time you take out your bike, check the brakes, tires, chains, and handlebars for any issues. Also make sure you have reflectors on the front and back bike rims.
Don’t forget your helmet
Wearing a bicycle helmet can save your life, so wear one on every ride. When adjusting the helmet make sure it’s low on your forehead, about an inch above your eyebrows with the chinstrap buckled. A final tug can ensure that it’s not loose and wobbly.
Obey the rules of the road
Remember that if you are riding on the road, you need to follow all the same rules as vehicles. Use hand signals so motorists will know your intentions, ride with traffic, and obey all traffic signals. When riding in a group, remember to ride in a single file line.
Dress fashionably safe
Wear bright colors if you must ride on the road so you are easily visible. Avoid the use of headphones and cell phones while on the bike; your full attention should be on the road ahead. Also be alert for potholes, people, animals, and any obstacles that may be dangerous.
Get out this summer and see all the Pittsburgh trials have to offer. For example, you and your family can now bike the Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to DC, all along the trail! You can look for local bike exchanges and opportunities to rent bikes if you don’t have one of your own.
Where do you and your family like to bike? Share some ideas and suggestions of popular trails in Pittsburgh with us!