Safety tips on riding bicycle in the city

Riding bike

Bicycling as a mode of transportation has exponentially grown in popularity in Florida within the past decade.

Many factors can attribute to this rise in prevalence.

Riding a bicycle is typically faster than walking on the street. In major cities, traffic congestion can make one’s daily commute seem to last an eternity; cycling can help cut down a biker’s daily travel time. Higher gas prices may also sway individuals to switch over to biking as a means of transportation. The cost-effective and eco-friendly mode of transportation is not without its shortcomings. With more bikers on the road, there has also been an increase in bicycle accidents. Here are a few tips to stay safe while riding a bicycle in the city.

Are You Wearing Your Bicycle Helmet?

Although wearing a helmet is not a 100 percent full-proof safeguard, they can significantly increase your chances of surviving a bicycle accident and help prevent severe damage. According to a study conducted by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, head injuries account for three-quarters of bicycle deaths every year in the United States. Helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of these injuries by approximately 66 percent. Moreover, per a University of Washington study, helmets give equal protection levels for collisions involving motor vehicles and accidents from all other causes. Another thing to consider is installing rearview mirrors into one’s bicycle helmet. Mirrors can help bicyclists see what is behind them at all times, without needing to look over their shoulder. In the state of Florida, those who are under the age of 16 must wear a helmet that properly fits them. While it is not required after the age of 16, it is highly advisable to wear a helmet whenever biking, as it can save a life.

Remain Alert While Bike Riding In The City

Riding a bicycle in the city requires the bicyclist to utilize their eyes and ears to anticipate any possible risks. In a car, a driver might opt to listen to music. However, it is best to ditch the headphones while bike riding. A biker’s ears must be attentive, listening for vehicles that may potentially be approaching. In addition to their ears, a biker’s eyes are another invaluable asset. When cycling, a rider should avoid remaining fixed on their front wheel. Instead, to safely ride the city roads, bikers should look further ahead. Looking ahead will help a rider anticipate and react to sudden road hazards.

Check Your Equipment Before Bike Riding

Vehicles can malfunction seemingly overnight. It is imperative to check your equipment before riding. These are a few things that you should take note of the:

  • Seat height. If you are renting a bike or borrowing one from a friend, you will likely need to make some adjustments to the bike seat height. To check if the bike seat is appropriate, see if you are able to straighten your legs while pedaling nearly.
  • Air in tires. To test if your bike’s tires are adequately filled, push the tires firmly against a curb. If the tires flatten, then they require more air.
  • Spin the wheels on the bicycle. If they come into contact with something on the bike and do not spin freely, the tires may need to be adjusted or replaced. Bike tires should also be checked for any holes or bubbles.
  • The brakes should feel firm and strong when squeezed.

More information here

on bicycle safety and bicycle accidents.