Cycling is an excellent form of transportation; it is eco-friendly and has multiple health benefits. It is even better when you get to do it with amazing views of the great city of Indianapolis.
The only downside to cycling is we live in a motorized world. Thus, there are some safety concerns for bicyclists around a bunch of much larger mechanical ones. Make the most out of cycling around Indianapolis by following these tips for a safe and enjoyable ride.
Bicyclists Need to Be Visible
The first rule of safety is to be highly visible to those in motor vehicles. Many products on the market are made for enhanced visibility. For example, high-visibility vests, reflective tape you can put on your bike, or flashing lights you can attach. Some cyclists also like to wear a headlamp or attach a light to their bike, which makes them more visible and helps them see what’s around them in the dark.
It’s the 21st century, and our technology can do amazing things, like making sure you get from point A to B on the quickest route, but it can also be a distraction. Just like distracted driving, trying to do anything on your phone or any other device/gadget can lead to unsafe conditions that potentially cause harm to yourself or others.
Know and Obey Traffic Laws
Bicycles are subject to many of the same laws and regulations as motor vehicles. Thus, you can get in the same trouble for breaking those laws. Indianapolis traffic laws pertaining to operating a bicycle are all meant to keep the rider and the people around them safe, so it makes sense that obeying those laws will help to decrease risks. Staying on the straight and narrow helps to keep your safety at the forefront, and it will also keep your wallet free from expensive, unnecessary traffic tickets.
Maintain Your Bicycle
The last thing you want is a preventable accident because something went wrong with your bike. Make sure to maintain your bike by replacing worn-out parts and regularly inspecting it for any wear and tear. It also doesn’t hurt to carry a tire patch kit with you on every ride.
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Bicyclists Should Use Bike Lanes When They Can
Several metropolitan areas are starting to make cities easier to navigate for cyclists, Indianapolis included. These lanes help divide the space on the road between cyclists and drivers to keep you safer. Of course, there would be bike lanes on every road in a perfect world, but we are not there yet, so this isn’t always an option, but the city is doing its part to create more bike-friendly spaces as they update their infrastructure.
Wear a Helmet
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but there are too many cyclists that would rather risk being an actual no-brainer than possibly looking “un-cool.” Helmets are relatively inexpensive and have proven to be life-saving, so if there is only one thing on this list that you follow, make this the one. Helmet designs are not what they used to be. Now, they are more comfortable, more effective, and more aesthetically appealing than the helmets of the past.
Bicycles may be fun to ride, but they are not toys, and mishandling one can lead to serious injury. Bicyclists should sit on their bikes correctly and hold the handlebars appropriately. Ensure that there is nothing on your bike that could shift its weight or get tangled up in your tires, creating an accident. Most importantly, never ride under the impairment of drugs or alcohol. Not only is it dangerous, but you can get the same DUI as you would in a car.
Protect Yourself From the Sun
Prolonged exposure to the sun is not good for your skin, and cyclists don’t get the same protection from it as drivers, so you must do what you can to protect yourself. Cover what you can with fabric and what you can’t with sunscreen. Accessories like hats and sunglasses will also go a long way to protect your skin and eyes from Indianapolis’s summer sun.
Bicyclists Should Check Road Conditions
When you’re passionate about cycling, you want to do it as much as possible. However, Indianapolis does get a fair amount of precipitation throughout the year. So, it is best to know before you go. If roads are flooded or icy, you will want to choose an alternate means of transportation. In addition, check for road construction and the quality of the road to help improve the chances of a smooth ride with no dangerous obstacles.
Bicyclists Need to Make It Home
Using a bike as a means of transportation has many benefits. However, it is also more dangerous than a car or even a motorcycle. By following these tips, you can enjoy your rides with the peace of mind that you will make it home safe. In the unfortunate event that something does happen on the road, don’t hesitate to call Boulton Law Group to represent you and walk you through the process of advocating for yourself in a confusing and trying time.