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.
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.
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.
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