Today's sponsored guest post was written by Matthew Hall.
Bike riding is one of the most popular methods of transportation in the world today. Bicycles are used for an array of things ranging from getting to work, riding for pleasure or riding competitively. Although people use bicycles for different purposes, there should be one thing kept in common between all of them, safety. Nothing is more important than staying safe while riding your bike, and the good part is that it’s not hard to stay safe on your bike as long as you follow the tips I will be going over in this article. So before you head out riding let's go over some important tips to keep you as safe as possible while you are out riding your bicycle.
Proper Roadside Etiquette
Just because you're on a bicycle and not in a car does not mean that there are no rules to follow. It is quite opposite actually. Bicyclists have rules to follow on the road just as cars do. When you are riding in populated areas always make sure to double-check before crossing roads and intersections, as motorists may not see you. Normally there will either be a marked lane or a sidewalk in which you should ride your bike. Riding your bike against traffic or in the middle of the road is not the proper way to travel on your bike.
Wear a Helmet
It doesn’t matter if you are just going to be riding down the street real quick or if you are planning on going on a long bike ride. Accidents happen, and it is important to always have the proper protection on incase something does happen. I am pretty sure that most people aren’t out riding a bike to try to look good and impress anyone. Most of us are using it to get somewhere or as a hobby, so the “helmet looks stupid” excuse shouldn’t fly because last time I checked, it is better to be safe and smart than to look cool. In the end, if you take a spill without a helmet, you may not be looking so good anyway. Just to give you an example of how important helmets are, statistics show that in 2010 alone 616 people were killed on bicycles. A whopping 429 of those killed were not wearing helmets. So next time you head out on your bike make sure to protect your head first.
Wear Bright Clothing
If you plan on riding your bike close to or on the side of the road then it is important that you wear the proper attire. If your going to be out riding at night wearing a dark shirt is obviously not a good idea. Look into purchasing some bright clothing or shirts with reflectors on the outside of them so that other vehicles and bike riders can see you ahead of time.
Maintain Your Bike
You don’t need to do this every time you go for a bike ride but I would say to check up on your bike at least weekly if you use it often. This means checking to make sure your tires are inflated, that the handle bars are not loose, that your chain is lubed up, and that your brakes are working properly. If you notice that something needs some attention then fix the problem immediately instead of waiting, as a small problem could turn into a big problem if not treated right away.
Pay Attention To The Road
Unfortunately most cities can’t repave every roadway and sidewalk to make it perfect for us to ride our bikes on, although that would be nice. This means many sidewalks and roads are old and have cracks and potholes in them that are often hard to see if you are not looking close. This can be especially dangerous at night-time. If you are riding your bike at night you should have some type of light on your bike. It is also important to look out for fellow riders or vehicles as you may be paying attention but they may not be and hit you if you're not paying 100 percent attention.
Riding bikes can be convenient in this day and age. With the combined price of gas, insurance, and car payments, the money you can save by riding a bike can be well in the hundreds of dollars per month if not more depending on your driving history. Just make sure before you ride your bike you remember to be safe, wear a helmet, lookout for others, dress appropriately, and follow the rules of the road and you should be well on your way to riding your bike as safe as possible.
This article was written by Matthew Hall. As gas prices have steadily rose over the past decade, so have the number of miles Matthew has put on his bicycle. While biking for the majority of his transportation needs has been mostly positive, roadside safety is always a concern. In addition to his avid cycling, he is a professional writer for Heil-Law.com. To learn more about Matthew, visit him on Google+.