Know the Rules
Over half a million people are injured in non-fatal cycling accidents each year, according to a recent CDC report. Cyclists are bound to the same road sharing rules as motorists, including riding on the right side of the road, following traffic signs and signals, signaling turns and giving pedestrians the right of way. Cyclists should be responsible for their own safety. The best approach is a defensive one assuming motorists may not responsibly share the road. Ride with caution.
Why Wear a Helmet?
It is compulsory under new legislation that cyclists under the age of eighteen wear a suitable helmet while cycling. Considering a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%, no matter what your age or level of experience, whenever you ride a bicycle, you should be wearing a helmet. Cuts, bruises and broken bones will heal but damage to your brain can be permanent. Even a low-speed fall can result in a serious head injury. In case of a crash, a new helmet should be purchased, even if the helmet appears fine.
Whether you are embarking on an all-day road excursion or taking a spin around the block, a properly-fitted helmet is critical for safe cycling. Take some time trying on helmets and choose one with the right size and fit. A helmet should sit flat on the top of your head, not tilted forward or back. It should be a snuf fit, use the two finger rule: no more than two fingers should fit in the space between the forehead and front of the helmet and no more than two fingers should fit between the chin strap and chin. Also, the straps should form a “V” framing the ears.
Take Care of those Feet
Cycling shoes are fit snuggly, without very much additional room. Often poor fit, including shoes that are too narrow or tight, can cause tingling and numbness in the feet and toes. A cycling shoe with some cushion under the ball of the foot helps to reduce compression. Proper adjustments to cleat position, insoles and orthotics can also be of benefit depending on your foot structure.
Bike Fit is Essential
If you are buying a new bicycle, find a reputable bike shop with trained professionals that will ensure the frame and fit match your body type. There are numerous variables in proper bike fit that can alleviate discomfort or pain and prevent injury. Get your bike adjusted to better fit YOU.
USA Cycling has some great science and training resources that may be of benefit to you: