Bike Week is a great opportunity to encourage fitness, discuss the impact of cars on our planet, and to review the rules of biking road safety. We want to see everyone safe this week (and every week!), so we’ve shared our tips on keeping safe.
10 Bike Safety Tips
- Wear a helmet. This one might seem obvious, but it can be easy to run out of the house and forget about helmets. Make sure everyone in the family wears a helmet on every bike ride. For more info on how to choose the right helmet, visit : https://www.bcma.org/files/Protect%20your%20noggin.pdf
- Review hand signals. Make sure to teach hand signals during your child’s first ride, and revisit them once a year. *It’s important to use your left arm for all signals to make sure traffic can see them and to ensure your right hand is always on the back wheel brake.
- Respect all road signs – even in traffic-calmed areas – to build good habits and keep everyone safe.
- Use bike lanes whenever possible, even if you have to go a few blocks out of your way.
- Keep an eye on parked cars. Drivers can pull onto the road unexpectedly or open doors without looking. If you spot someone in a parked car, slow down and move away from the car (if possible) when you pass.
- Watch for pedestrians and make sure to give them the right of way at all red lights and stop signs. Keep an eye out for jay-walkers.
- Inform others before you pass. Ring your bell and yell “on your left/right” when passing another rider or a pedestrian.
- Maintain one “bike length” between you and the rider or car in front. If the person in front stops suddenly, you’ll have time to stop or swerve to avoid a collision.
- Always use the right hand brake first to slow down. If you pull hard on the left hand brake (which connects to the front wheel) you could stop abruptly and fall over the handlebars. Never take your hand off the right hand brake.
- Perform regular tune-ups and teach your little riders how to maintain and fix a bike.
- Before every trip, check the tires to make sure they’re properly inflated, and check brakes to ensure they’re working.
- Keep the bike out of the rain as much as possible to avoid rust.
- Learn (and teach how) to change a tire and put a chain back on if it falls off.
If the weather is nice this weekend, take an afternoon to go over safety rules, practice maneuvers and have some fun! Take the kids out to an empty tennis or basketball court. Practice using hand signals while making turns on the court, as well as quick braking with each hand to get a feel for what happens. If you have any cones or other soft plastic items, you can also set up an obstacle course to practice safe signalling, braking and weaving/dodging maneuvers.
Let’s hope for some great weather this weekend. Wishing you a great Bike Week!
Stephanie Phillips, User Experience Lead at myBestHelper