Bike to work week is fast approaching. For many, it’s a time for exciting adventures on the road and for reconnecting with the outdoors after a long gloomy winter. Biking to work week is also a great way to save money, benefit the environment, keep fit and maybe lose a few pounds.
Whether you are a novice or an expert when it comes to biking, there are certain tips that can be very beneficial and help you stay safe on the road.
It is very important that you always wear a helmet at all times. It does not matter if you are going just a block away, accidents happen when you least expect it. And in the unlikelihood of an accident, you need to protect your head.
It is recommended that you wear clothing that is highly visible to motorists such as bright colored jackets and shirts. Reflective gear is also easily seen by vehicles. In addition, add flashing light reflectors to the tail of your bike, this is especially helpful when visibility is minimal.
Using the correct lighting is essential, especially if you biking to work at dusk, dawn or in the night. Use both rear and headlights for ultimate safety. As well, to avoid getting a ticket you need to have functioning lights. In Oregon, all bikes are actually required to have lighting fixtures if there are limited visibility conditions. The lighting equipment must have a white light that is visible at least 500 feet.
Mirrors on both your bike and helmet are a good idea. In fact, using the mirrors on your helmet will greatly increase your visibility and help your navigate easier on busy roads.
Oftentimes bicyclists forget to use their hand signals. Unfortunately, not using your hand signals often results in an accident that could have been prevented. Using the proper hand signals will help you stay safe while navigating through busy streets. Likewise, make sure the motorist has seen your hand signals before you make the turn.
Using the Bike Paths
As a bicyclist, you need to take full advantage of the bike paths. Not only do bike paths have less traffic but they may save you time by avoiding major congestion on busy roads. Although there are no vehicles except for crossroads, you still need to watch for pedestrians.
Inflating your Tires
Before you take a longer bike ride, make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Otherwise, if your tires are low you could damage the tires or end up with a flat tire on your way to work.
Learn How to Work on Your Bike
Learning how to change a tire is one of the most important and helpful bicycle tips. In addition, carrying a patch kit for flat tires is always a good idea in case you get stranded out in the middle of nowhere. If you are not comfortable working on your bike, make sure to keep your phone with you while you bike to work. Having a phone allows you to call a bicycle mechanic if you get stranded.
A Change of Clothes
If you plan on biking to work every day, it is a good idea to take a change of clothes with you. As well, you can bring your clothes with you before the actual days that you plan to ride.
Regardless of your reasons of signing up for the bike to work challenge, it will be a rewarding experience to remember. There are thousands of people who join every year for the occasion. Discover what all the commotion of biking to work is all about. If you have any questions feel free to contact Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition.