The outdoor road season has finally arrived! Now that you've moved your ride outside, make sure you maintain your focus on safety!
First a review…
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
...And now for part two:
6. Respect Traffic
- This includes all road signs and rules of the road
- Ride single file (riding 4 or 5 across the lane upsets drivers in cars!)
- Stay close to the right at all times
- Keep groups small, 10-15 at most
- Divide larger groups into two or three smaller chunks (makes it easier for cars to pass)
7. VQ Bike Certification
- 90 minutes to teach turning, getting in/out of pedals, bike safety, road safety
8. Stay within Limits
- Bad decisions come from pushing limits too far (no oxygen to the brain!) and lead to dangerous situations
- There will be plenty of time to push yourself hard later when you’re more comfortable
9. LSAP (Protocol for Group Rides)
- When pulling off the front:
Look: all clear? no cars?
Signal: hand, elbow, even a verbal “pulling off”
Accelerate: ensures no overlap crashes
Pull Off: safely!
10. Safe Stops
- Not in the middle of the road
- Not on the right, next to the road
- Get WAY off
- Space should be large enough to accommodate entire group
Remember: You’ll enjoy yourself more if you know how to ride safely and predictably!