The outdoor road season is quickly approaching! Maybe you’ve already gone for your first outdoor ride, maybe you’re starting to get the itch. Your ultimate goal? Safety!
1. Bike Check
- Ideally, have your bike checked by a professional mechanic
- If you’re taking on the bike check yourself, your goal is just to make sure everything is working properly
- Drop your bike, listen for rattling sounds
- Check tires for tread and air pressure
- Ensure there is enough “meat” on brake pads
- Are your skewers tight?
2. Obey Road Signs
- Put your foot down at stop signs
- Remain stopped until light turns green
- Use your best judgment; some things cannot be avoided/adhered to but the traffic laws are there to protect everyone on the roadways
3. Head UP!
- Don’t look at your wheel
- Don’t look at the next bike’s wheel
- Look ahead and you’ll avoid accidents!
- Seeing what’s coming provides the ability to anticipate and avoid danger
- Bonus: you’ll draft closer, hold a straighter line and still see what’s below you via peripheral vision
4. Communication is Key!
- When on a group ride, call out the news: debris in the road, turns/stop signs, etc.
- Line leader calls out
- Each person down the line repeats in turn
- This passes news effectively and tells originator that message was received
5. Ride Predictably
- When you ride predictably and all around you ride predictably, there are fewer accidents and everyone remains safe
In the next issue, we’ll go over the rest of this top ten list.
Remember: You’ll enjoy yourself more if you know how to ride safely and predictably!