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Biking Is Fun But Do It Safely

By Paul Rothbart

Riding a bike is something most people learn as a child. But it's also fun for adults, an eco-friendly means of transportation, and great exercise. Pedaling around town or out in nature is good for the body, mind, and spirit. When biking, the rider is vulnerable to injury. Cars, pedestrians, uneven surfaces, can all cause an accident. By practicing cycle safety, you can reduce the risk of an accident and thoroughly enjoy your ride. Here are some things to know.

Check Your Gear

Before each and every ride, do a safety inspection of your bike and other gear to make sure they are functioning properly. Check that your seat is at the proper height and firmly secured. The tires should be inflated to the proper pressure and be free of holes or cuts. Ensure that the pedals, chain, and all moving parts are working smoothly. All the reflectors should be in place and not broken, as well as the bell or horn, and a headlight if riding at night.

Make Sure You Will Be Visible

Bike accidents involving cars most often happen because the driver didn't see the biker. Don't let that happen. Wear bright colors, fluorescents are very good for this. Try to ride during the day when visibility is at its best. If you do ride at night, wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights on your bike. Be certain that drivers can see you well before they get near you.

Wear a Helmet

The days of jumping on your bike and pedaling off with a bare head are thankfully gone. Head injuries are serious. They can change your life in the worst possible way or be fatal. There are many ways for a bike to go down with you aboard. Falling while seated on a bicycle gives you very little control over your landing. Slamming your head onto the ground is a very real threat. Always ride wearing a helmet approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Adjust the helmet so it fits securely without being too tight. Always chinch up the chin strap to prevent the helmet from shifting position or falling off. 

Obey Traffic Laws

In most communities, bicycles are considered vehicles and are thus subject to traffic laws. The laws exist for your safety. Obey traffic lights, stop signs, and other road signs just as you would in a car. Use hand signals when turning or stopping. Ride with traffic, and never weave in and out to get ahead. Following the laws keep you safe, as well as those you share the road with.

A bicycle is a great way to get around and requires no gas. It's also great exercise and lots of fun. Like any other vehicle, safety is of prime importance. Be careful, enjoy your ride, and get home in one piece. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Midlothian, Va.

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