Cycling can be a fun and active way to spend time with your family and friends follow these important yet simple seven steps to stay safe and keep cycling:
- Protect Your head: wear A helmet. A properly fitted and correctly worn bike helmet can make a dramatic difference, cutting the risk of serious head injury by up to 80 per cent. Discard the helmet after one high intensity impact. Read more about bicycle helmets.
- Check your ride. Ensure bicycles are adjusted correctly for a person’s height and get in the habit of doing a bike check before getting on, checking that the tires are inflated and the brakes are working properly.
- Be prepared. Getting trained in bicycle safety and rules of the road is important for the safety of riders. Be sure to use appropriate hand signals and obey all traffic signs. Parents can ask their children to show the signals for stop, right, and left hand turns before getting on their bikes. This can be a fun quiz as you are preparing for a family bike ride! Adults should remind children to always dismount their bikes when crossing the street.
- Preplan your route for safety. Designated riding areas are in place for everyone’s safety, riders and other pedestrians. Using these routes are a great option for less experienced riders so they can build confidence and skills in a safe environment. Great paths can be found online. By pre-planning your ride, you can be sure the route you are choosing is a safe one.
- Stay on the right side of the road. During your rides, in Canada always be on the right side of the road going in the same direction as traffic. By doing this, you are making yourself more visible to drivers and they are able to see your traffic hand signals. When riding with children, have them follow your lead by biking single file and repeating all the hand signals you make. As a motorist, ensure you give cyclists space on the road and be aware of the risk with door openings.
- Be seen and heard. Another important part of riding is making sure drivers can see you when it is not very light outside. Wearing bright, reflective clothing and equipping your bike with flashing lights and reflectors help increase visibility. Having a working bell on your bike is always a great idea; it allows you to gain the attention of other riders and pedestrians, letting them know you are close by or passing them. Using your voice works well, too!