Safe Bike Commuting Secrets
Bike commuting is going to do a lot to make your life more fun, but it means you have an added set of responsibilities. Of course, you’re going to want to review your bicycle safety basics, and then consider some of these tips to make your ride, and your work day, a little more comfortable:
Check your gear. Give your bike a quick ABC check. A is air. Is there enough in your tires? The recommended PSI will be on the side of the tire, so check it and inflate them. B is brakes. Are they in good shape? You never want to be out of control, and stopping is as important as going. C is your chain. Keep it clean and well lubed.
Remember, you’re still a vehicle. You still need to obey stop lights and street signs. Other rules of driving also pertain to you, such as yielding to pedestrians.
Be predictable. Following the same laws as drivers will make it easier for others on the road to understand what you’re doing and where you’re going. Using hand signals lets people around you know what your next move is going to be.
Stay on the defensive. There is no pleasant way to say it, but many drivers are not looking for bikers. So it’s key to stay out of dangerous blind spots.
Light up your ride. For safety, and to make yourself more visible to drivers, use a white light on the front and a red one on the back.
Dress comfortably. Sweat-wicking gear and something that provides a full range of motion without getting caught in your chain can do wonders for your commute. And as an extra tip, pack deodorant and body wipes if your office doesn't have a shower.
The basket case. You know that basket on the front of kids’ bikes? You’re going to want one of those. Backpacks and bags are annoying while pedaling and can even get in your way. Whether you pick a rack on the back, panniers or a basket on the front, any choice provides a smarter way to carry your bags, groceries or even your extra-terrestrial buddy.