Safe Biking Tips … you might be thinking why this article now… So go through it to know more.
With people under stay at home orders and observing social distancing, there’s been a sharp drop in automotive traffic. This is positive for cyclists and bikers, whether they ride as a social distancing method of transportation or a cost-effective or a way to get out to exercise in spring. But remain safe when you head out on a two-wheeler.
There’s a reason – – it’s as easy as falling off a bike is an adage. It is getting injured while cycling or biking, which is always a possibility. Even if you aren’t traveling at higher speeds. Now there is a more tense situation than ever to take necessary precautions for safe biking.
An injury requires a visit to the hospital that does takes focus away from Corona patients. It also will take a long time for you to be seen by medical staff as they are swamped right now.
The spread of Corona has severely curtailed vehicular traffic. Passenger vehicle traffic overall was down 48 percent for the beginning of the Corona compared with the same period in 2019, which can be accessed by us on our own, without any data as such.
Roads are getting safer because of reduced traffic as businesses and schools are closed. Traffic collisions or accidents have gone down nearly 60 percent in April 2020 compared to 2019.
It is easy to reduce your chances of being injured while cycling or biking with some preparation and improving your safe biking etiquette.
Foremost: Virus Safety for Safe Biking
People following social distancing at home can exercise outside. The government is directing people to stay home, and you must not congregate in groups and maintain at least six feet distance with other people. It is not the time to engage in group activities like pools: it is rather fine to cycle with or use a bike to go to buy your groceries or your necessary office visits. But it should be maintained that older members or those who have weaker immunity should not expose themselves to potential illness prevailing these days.
It is essential to practice personal hygiene for safe biking. The virus does not spread through sweat, but it can spread through items touched by infected persons. If you are using a bicycle or a bike that is shared by a few family members, make sure to wipe and clean off the seat, brakes, handlebars, and any other touched surfaces before you use it. Try not to touch face and eyes while riding as a precaution. Do use hand sanitizer after your ride. You may wash your hands with a bar of soap as soon as it is possible for you.
After your post-ride, do take a shower, clean your clothes, including any cycling-specific equipment such as gloves, sunglasses, helmets, wind jackets, or other wearables.
Pre-Ride Safety Check
You need to make sure that the bikes you and your family are riding have been maintained and have a safe working condition.
In the majority of biker’s deaths, the most severe injuries are done to the head. This reconfirms the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Helmet estimated to have reduced the number of head injuries by 50 % and the number of faces and neck injuries by 33 %.
But one thing is for sure; helmets do not last forever. It is recommended to replace the helmet every five years. And, immediately if you’ve been hit while wearing it, or the helmet shows cracking or delamination of the shell or inner foam layer.
You can find ISI certified helmets at a local bike shop. You may call the shop owner if they can offer home delivery of helmets. You can order them online too. If you have a helmet, check how to make sure it fits properly. Before using the helmet, make sure that it meets standards set by the Transport Department.
It is always best to use front and rear lights, even during the day. It isn’t to light your way; instead, it makes sure that you are more visible during daylight to the traffic coming fro the front and rear. It must be taken care of, especially at dusk and dawn. A forward-facing white light will make you more noticeable to oncoming traffic, while a rear-facing red light will help traffic behind you. You must ensure before the sun rises or after it sets, you must have high powered high beam lights in your bike to illuminate your way.
You must wear easily visible cycling clothing, like a bright yellow, red, orange, or blue jacket or vest, to improve your visibility to others. Think more brilliant colors than going for blacks or grays. They get easily overlooked and get lost in shadows. There are cycling clothes that come with reflective stripes on them. The main point is to be visible by contrasting yourself with your environment. It isn’t a rolling fashion show.
A good pair of cycling gloves serve several tasks. They help you keep the grip tight on the handlebars, even if there is sweat or rain. During a fall from the bike, gloves help protect your palms. They help your instinct to put hands out while falling, and the impact may injure them. Gloves help relieve pressure on the palms and prevent blisters. They help you keep away from getting any infection.
Eyewear protects your eyes from dirt, debris, and sun glare. You must wear safety glasses or sunglasses marketed and sold as biking-specific ones. Clear (untinted) lenses are suitable for when it’s raining because they’ll protect your eyes but do not create a too dark background. Many frames let swap in different lenses to choose the appropriate ones depending on the weather conditions. You can also fit prescription lenses in these frames.
On the Road Tips
Keep in mind safety means protective equipment as well as interacting with fellow motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
Obey the law
A bicycle is your vehicle, and you are the driver. This means that bikers, as well as cyclists, have to follow traffic rules and signals, street signs, and traffic markings. You must drive in the same direction as the traffic when cycling on the road. Do not miss any stop signs and other traffic signals, or you may put yourself and others on the street in danger.
Always stay alert
Potholes, glass, bottles, curbs, and sewer grates pose a more significant risk to cyclists than cars. You must keep eyes wide open to concentrate and look far enough ahead of your bike to make evasive maneuvers to stop and avoid a crash and have a safe biking.
Use hand signals
The only way you can interact with traffic correctly and flawlessly is by giving hand signals. These hand signals not only help in communicating your decisions to turn or stop but also make it safer for a fellow biker.
Try to remain predictable
You must not weave in your travel lane. While it’s necessary to avoid obstacles, careless riding and random movements can confuse or unnerve drivers. They may slow and prevent passing you because they don’t know what you are doing. Or they may aggressively move, putting all on the road at risk.
Ride single file
You must stay single file no matter where you are riding. This allows traffic to give three feet space while passing without and to veer into the lane. It lets cyclists pass safely on the road. When it is legal to ride on the sidewalk, keep in mind that riding two or three abreast on the side streets, let you crowd out the pedestrians.
Leave the technology at home
When commuting or interval training, you must keep off the phone. Bikers should never wear headphones as they hinder the ability to hear traffic sounds. It can also become a distraction when there is a need to change the volume or song, and even when you want to accept/reject a call on mobile. And just like driving, texting is a significant distraction, too. One slight wobble in the mobile and even the most experienced cyclist will go down in a heap.