Cycling is an enjoyable activity whether it be for leisure or for exercise. Furthermore it’s a much more economic and environmentally friendly way of getting around than cars. Because of this it’s a very common sight to see bikes travelling along the side of the road in the bike lanes, or when there are no specific lanes, in the traffic itself. Bikes can access many more areas than cars, allowing them to take shortcuts, scenic routes and much more convenient paths. However riding on two wheels by the power of your own legs and balance can still be dangerous, so it’s important to follow certain safety laws to avoid cycling injuries.
First of all wear a helmet. This one is neglected by so many people when it can save lives or prevent major injuries all with the simple buckling of a piece of headwear. It takes less than a second, and a properly fitted helmet shouldn’t hurt or be uncomfortable. When you fall on your bike it’s often impossible to prevent impact to your head. The helmet will absorb this impact into itself and keep your head safe, preventing some potentially major injuries. Of all the safety gear it is the one piece that should be considered essential.
Secondly it’s absolutely vital to follow biking laws. Too many people assume there are none, and will ride their bicycle as they see fit. This isn’t true, especially in cities where there isn’t much room on the roads and the bikes have to become part of traffic. Technically a bike, being a wheeled vehicle, has to follow the same laws as a car. This is the default law to consider, anyway, but for each city this could be different. This means stopping at stop signs even if there is nothing coming, giving right of way to pedestrians and going the right way on the road.
Paying attention to the world around you is also very important to stay safe while cycling. When approaching a green light in a city, for example, you should always be ready on the breaks. People run red lights all the time in their cars, even if it is a stupid thing to do, and you do not want to ride out in front of these people. And you don’t want to hit a pedestrian who thought they could cross the street against the light because nothing was coming. Keeping an eye out around you will prevent unnecessary accidents and help you avoid sudden obstacles.
Finally making sure your bike is well maintained is a big plus. While it’s not quite as tedious as a car in maintenance, a bike needs its tires filled constantly, its chain oiled, brakes tested and the frame secured. If your bike has been sitting unused for too long any of these things might become an issue, so make sure to check them all before taking it out. If the bike is exposed to weather or left out in the rain, it could rust, so always look it over before taking it out.
Mihela is a passionate blogger who loves to ride bike. This has put down her own experience of riding cycle and how to avoid injuries during cycling. She had bought her first cycle from Torpedo7 bike shop.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dno1967b/8600410187/