News and Information

Outdoor Cycling Safety Tips

06-05-2015

Ride Smart: Bike Safety Tips for Adults

With warm weather here, more exercise enthusiasts are opting to get their burn on outdoors, especially cyclists. Before you abandon the spin bike, don’t forget to follow these simple precautions for a safe outdoor workout.

Inspect your bike

Like your vehicle, your outdoor bike requires regular inspections to ensure it’s safe to take out on the road. Make sure your bike tires, brakes, cables (if any), and lights are in good working order.

Ride safely

No one plans to be in an accident, but biking outdoors makes cyclists more vulnerable to more threatening situations. While the number of cyclists on the road may be growing, they are still outnumbered by cars and other motor vehicles. Obey all traffic signs, signals, and educate yourself about appropriate hand signals to know how to properly use them. Ride with the flow of traffic, but as to not impede vehicle traffic. Avoid weaving between vehicles, and make sure you are visible by vehicles in their rear view mirrors.

Gear up

Wearing protective gear is essential for outdoor cycling. Always wear a helmet regardless of your age. Many bike accidents involve a head injury, and a crash or fall could result in a brain injury or death if you’re not wearing a helmet. Also, wear properly fitting gloves and shoes that provide full foot coverage. Dress in bright-colored clothes because they are more visible than white clothing. The brighter you are, the easier it is for drivers to see you!

Unplug and ride safely

Unlike the gym, you should never ride with headphones or ear buds even if you’re playing music softly. A distracted driver means your focus is off your surroundings. Unplug and enjoy the ride!

Ride in Pairs

Avoid riding alone but if you must, ride on a familiar route and remember to tell someone where you are planning to ride and for how long. Being familiar with your surroundings lessens the risk that comes with a new route.

Fuel Up

For optimal performance and recovery, don’t forget to fuel your body before, during and after your work out. Pack at least two water bottles and carry snacks. A bag of almonds, fruit, energy bars and travel peanut butter are excellent snack ideas for any on-the-go athlete. They’re also portable and easy to pack and more importantly, will keep you energized and satisfied throughout your workout.

Outdoor bicycling tips provided by Huston Sheppard, Personal Trainer at CaroMont Health and Fitness Center and cyclist enthusiast. Huston also is a dedicated member of Gaston County Cyclists. When he’s not hitting the road, Huston provides personal training through CaroMont’s Health and Fitness Center as well as group fitness classes including indoor spin class. Learn more about group personal training and fitness classes at CaroMont Health and Fitness Center here.

Categories: Health