The good weather brings us all out to enjoy and play. The roads seem to suddenly fill up with runners and bicyclists on every main artery in town. Last week a dear friend lost her life in a bicycle accident in Rockville Centre.
Our column this week will focus on cycling safety for our North Fork community. Even if you are an experienced rider, it’s always a good idea to review safety fundamentals. And please teach them to your children.Advice for Safer Cycling:
- Wear a brightly colored helmet and you reduce your risk of serious injury by as much as 85%. Don’t wear headphones while riding! Do wear reflective material on your clothing.
- Keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time to react and maneuver.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the petals.
- One person per bike. Riding with unsecured passengers puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.
- Ride in single file with space between bikes.
- Ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident – or a ticket.
- Plan ahead if you will ride in a group. Agree on the route ahead of time. Have a plan on what you will do if separated by traffic.
- If you will be riding in an unfamiliar area, check out local laws and rules first.
- Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times on your route.
- Before riding at night, ask someone to help you check your visibility to motorists.
- Maintain the bikes in your household. Keep chains clean and lubricated and periodically inspect brake pads.
- Communicate your intention to turn, stop, and change lanes using recognized hand signals.
- Identify potential hazards and pay attention to your surroundings. Uneven, rough surfaces can cause falls. An object in the road can cause a flat tire, loss of balance or unsafe maneuver. Avoid riding across unknown objects. Slippery surfaces create a loss of traction which may cause you to lose control of your bike. Slow down or walk your bike across slippery surfaces.
- Before entering a roadway: Stop. Look left. Look right. Look left. BE SAFE!
Dedicated to Ellen Stegman- we will miss your vim and vigor, your eternal optimism, your beautiful mind and your strong spirit. God’s Speed dear friend!
Sources: Bicycle Safety Riding Tips, ; ; (National Safety Council).