We have all heard the song “I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride it now.” Riding our bikes can be an enjoyable, stress relieving, and fun experience for all of us. Sure riding the trainer is a great workout, but nothing compares to the wind in your face on a nice sunny day when riding your bike. However, with heavy traffic and distracted drivers we must stay on guard for all motorists as we ride our bikes. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when riding our bikes in the great outdoors.
Before you even jump onto your saddle for your ride it’s important to do a safety check of your bike to be sure that all components of the bike are in working order.
- Check your hydraulic brakes or cable brakes to see that they are engaged and functioning. You do not want to realize you don’t have brakes when you need to stop once on the road.
- Check your chain for signs of overuse and be sure to have the chain properly lubricated.
- If you have battery operated shifting like a DI2, be sure you are charged to the appropriate level for the full duration of your bike ride.
- Check pedals to see if they are properly lubricated and in working order.
- Check cleats on your shoes to be sure all screws are present and also the cleats are lubricated.
- If you do get a flat, be sure to have all necessary equipment to fix the flat.
- Extra Items to carry to help repair or fix a bike - tubes(2), Co2 cartridges, Co2 inflator, zip ties, tire levers, black electric tape, and a towel. These items can help fix repairs that may arise on any ride.
Riding on the roads has become increasingly dangerous with motorist more distracted than ever with navigation screens inside vehicles and smart phones. Being a firefighter/paramedic I have seen many crashes with drivers that state “I was just finishing a text.” This makes me very nervous when riding on any roads. Here are my tips for staying safe on the roads.
- Wear your helmet…ALWAYS!
- Have a front and rear light for your bike. I even purchased a light for the back of my helmet.
- Wear bright colored clothing to make it easier for a motorist to spot you from far away. I recommend a new design from Tri Sirena, the Kaleidoscope collection. This has bright neon colors and vivid patterns that really help to make you stand out.
- If possible have an audible device to warn motorist of your approach.
- Make eye contact if possible at all intersection to be sure that the driver sees you!
- Carry a phone on you.
- Keep your head on a swivel! Be aware at all times! Do not wear ear buds or head phones and keep yourself focused on the task at hand…to ride and return home safe!
Being a triathlete, firefighter, and paramedic I am aware that accidents can happen. It’s important that we as athlete’s do all we can to protect ourselves. Ride your bike safely and be aware of all your surroundings.
Written By: Beth Hinton, Tri Sirena Siren Luminary
Follow Beth on Instagram @hintonfox
What safety precautions do you take when you are biking outdoors? Let us know in the comments below!