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Bicycle Safety

Safety Check List

  • Helmet — Your helmet is the most important piece of biking equipment. It should fit snugly on your head and rest securely on your forehead. Adjust the straps each time you ride. When buying a helmet, choose one with an ANSI, Snell or ASTM sticker so you know it has passed important safety tests.
  • Handlebar position — The handlebars should be tight and properly aligned with the front wheel. Use grips or tape on the handles for better control.
  • Brakes — Brakes should tighten and release smoothly and quickly. Test to make sure that when brakes are engaged, your wheels do not move.
  • Wheels — Test for proper balance by picking the bicycle up and spinning the wheels. The wheels should not rub against any part of the frame, fender or brakes. Check for loose or broken spokes.
  • Tires — Check air pressure with a gauge. Tires should be firm to the touch. Examine them for cuts, cracks or bulges.
  • Seat — Make sure the seat is secure. Adjust its height so that your knees are slightly bent when pedals are in the lowest position.
  • Chain – The chain should be well oiled. A chain in need of adjustment will make a cracking or grinding noise.
  • Pedals — The pedals should be firmly secured to the crank arms and turn freely. Rubber treads should be intact.
  • Reflectors — Your bike should have front and rear reflectors. Check to make sure they are secured tightly and clean.

Safety on the Road

  • Obey traffic signs, signals and laws — Ride your bike as though you were driving a car
  • Ride with Traffic — Keep to the right and ride single file
  • Signal when turning — Use hand signals with your left hand. This lets drivers and other cyclists know what you are going to do.
  • Slow down at intersections — Look carefully both ways before crossing. Walk your bike through busy intersections.
  • Keep alert — Watch for road hazards like potholes, litter, water, gravel. Watch for people opening doors of parked cars.
  • Yield the right of way if it will keep you safe