Biking is, by far, one of the most exciting outdoor activities you can engage in. Being a powerful cardiovascular exercise, it comes with plenty of benefits to your health as well. It helps strengthen your core, arms, back, and legs. It improves flexibility and helps you lose weight. But biking in the city comes with its fair share of challenges. Apart from distraction from traffic congestion and noise, there’s always a slight risk of getting into an accident. Most people are actually not comfortable on their bikes in the city due to these reasons. But this shouldn’t necessarily mean cutting your biking experience short. In this piece, we’ll look at a few pointers on how to stay safe while biking in the city.
1. Keep a Bike Accident Lawyer on Speed Dial
They may not be as common as car crashes, but bicycle accidents do happen. In line with sentiments from Jim Pocrass and his team at Pocrass & De Los Reyes, cyclists are blamed by motorists in most of these accidents. But this is rarely the case, which is where legal help comes in. With an experienced accident attorney on speed dial, you can call him as soon as you get into a bike accident so that your rights are represented.
A bicycle accident lawyer will also help establish whether you have a case and how much it is worth. They represent victims of cyclist accidents, helping them acquire justice and compensation for damages, injuries, pain, and other sorts of suffering resulting from the collision. In case you are being blamed for an accident you didn’t cause, the lawyer will also help fight for your rights.
2. Wear a Helmet and Protective Gear
We all admire and cheer at professional cyclists as they peddle on the roads. But there is a considerable amount of investment in the sport if you take a closer look. While biking on the road, you will need to wear protective gear, which includes the helmet. It may not be mandatory in all the states, but it is a vital safety measure for every cyclist to avoid fatal injuries.
In the city, there is so much movement, and everyone seems to be running against time. You have to ensure you protect your head when biking not only from the accidents but also from the wind, which serves as a distraction. This daunting skill needs confidence on the road since city life has vehicles moving up and down the streets. Apart from the helmet, other safety gear and equipment for cyclists include:
First aid kit
Quality bike bell
3. Observe Traffic Rules
Cities are busy, and everyone is on the move. When on the road, always act like a car. Despite lacking basic indicators in your bike, always use your hands to communicate or give signals to other road users. As a cyclist, you need to be familiar with bike hand signals. It will prevent so many assumptions and accidents on the road. Wearing a reflective cycling jacket will make it easy for drivers to identify you in the dark. Also, ensure that your bike has lights for the night and bright reflectors to enhance other drivers’ visibility to avoid hitting you blindly.
4. Control Your Distractions
It may be hard to assume that tall, dark, and handsome guy by the roadside, but when cycling, enjoy the moment while it lasts. Keep your eyes and focus off of anything that will distract you. Music is food to the soul, but it is best to feed your soul after the ride. Avoid earphones or any electronics that may trigger your emotions. Also, your ears instantly become an asset while on the road. They allow you to hear approaching and hooting vehicles. You are advised to have a water bag, not a water bottle, to tune your surroundings.
5. Assess Your Bike before Stepping Out
It is better to be safe than sorry. While on the road, a small malfunction can cause injury, death, and too much traffic! Just like any other means of transport, check your bike to see its condition. Confirm the brakes are working properly, the tires are well filled, the gear is functional, the chain is greased, and that your helmet is present.
Saddles, pedals, and handlebars should also be mechanically safe to enhance comfort while on the move. When the bike is mechanically sound, you can confidently hit the road and maneuver in the city with no breakdown worries.
Finally, as a cyclist, you should know your roads well. You will want to know which roads accommodate cyclists and which one does not. Most cities are considering the bikers’ lane, but not all are fully established now. You can use Google maps to help improve your safety in the city. This can help keep you out of traffic and help you build your riding skills in case of roads that do not have bike lanes. It gives you ideas on how the road is – roundabouts, junctions, crossroads, and other landmarks that will help you keep track while on the pedals. Otherwise, have fun, and cycle with friends or family to make it more enjoyable.