Celebrating National Bike Month this May? Make sure you do so safely! Here are 5 biking mistakes you might be making and how to fix them.
1. Not thinking about visibility.
It’s important that cars can see you coming. Cycling/motor vehicle crash deaths are on the rise, with 743 in the U.S. in 2013 that’s up from 682 in 2011. Wear reflective gear to make yourself visible at night.
2. Forgetting to hydrate.
Dehydration can lead to weakness, dizziness, confusion, and fainting symptoms you don’t want to experience while riding a bike. WebMD recommends that you “drink plenty of water before, during and after you are active. This is very important when it’s hot out and when you do intense exercise.”
3. Being lax about bike checks.
Before riding your bike, ensure that your tires are properly inflated. Check the inflation rating printed on your tire. Also, check your brakes to verify that they’re working correctly and that your wheels spin easily when the brakes are off. Make sure your crank arms aren’t loose by wiggling the. Spin your pedal and confirm that the chains are running smoothly.
4. Not bringing a personal safety tool.
Self defense is important, so it’s a good idea to attach a cyclist pepper spray to your bike in case you need a way to ward off danger.
5. Leaving your head unprotected.
Helmets can reduce your risk of head injury by up to 85%, so this one’s a no brainer. Here’s how to fit your helmet. Enjoy National Bike Month and stay safe on the road!