How to Avoid Injuries When Cycling
As bicycles gain more and more popularity, bike-friendly communities are rapidly becoming a trend. Pathways are created exclusively for bikers and other pedestrians, designed to accommodate the wheels of the bicycle without having to deal with other vehicles on the main road. In the U.S., the number of bicyclists rapidly increase from coast to coast, according to Statista, with a little over 15 million spike increase from 2012 to 2017.
Even though bicycles are primarily a form of transportation, it comes with a wide range of beneficial effects. It likewise becomes a hobby, sport, or a healthy habit. Some people spend lots of money setting up bike parts, and others use it to help lessen carbon footprint. Whatever your reason for cycling, one cannot escape the benefits brought upon by this mode of transportation.
Cycling for Better Health
Riding a bicycle provides the rider with some significant health benefits. This is one of the usual reasons why people cycle. Some of these are the following:
- Healthy Heart. Regular biking can cut the risk of heart diseases by 46 percent. It allows for better circulation of blood to your heart. Like most exercises, it dramatically improves the overall health of the person.
- Brain Power. It allows for better blood and oxygen flow to your brain, improving brain performance, and even building new brain cells, which might help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
- Shedding off extra fat. Cycling, being an active recreational activity, helps burn calories. It is a good fitness routine to ride bikes as a form of transportation rather than sitting on the bus. It also allows for a more enjoyable scenery on your way to work.
Cycling for Mother Earth
Riding a bicycle eventually pays back the carbon footprint it produces during the manufacture of its parts. Taking into account factors such as the diet of an average American and manufacture procedures, the Pacific Institute had analyzed that biking 500 miles reverts the carbon footprint to zero. This may seem like a lot of miles, but the distance would be barely noticeable beneath the enjoyment of cycling.
Necessary road safety measures should be observed by every biker. Following these rules can make you reap the benefits of cycling and reduce the risk of suffering from cycling-related injuries and accidents.
These are the rules of the road that are mandatory. Violating these can get the rider in trouble, and pose a danger to other people on the street.
- Follow the direction of traffic. Bicycles are still considered vehicles even with the absence of a motor.
- Follow traffic signs. Stop at stop signs.
- Utilize bike lanes when available.
- Use helmets for safety. Helmets help protect the skull, which suffers fatal injuries during a road traffic accident.
- Use a bell or a horn to make your presence known in intersections or dangerous situations
- Turn on your headlight and taillights when riding around dusk or twilight, when visibility is needed.
- Use reflectors to aid in your visibility at night.
- Have working brakes.
Habits for Safe Riding
Some safety habits are not necessarily rules but are usually intuitive and help provide a good biking environment.
- Always ride sober. Drunk driving applies to all kinds of vehicles. Being on the road drunk is dangerous to the biker himself and those around him.
- Ride straight. Due to the absence of signal lights, bicycle movements are often unpredictable for those behind him. It is crucial to always ride in a straight line to avoid getting side swept.
- Avoid using your phone. Put down your phone when driving and always keep your eyes on the road.
- Use the right lane. Use the designated path.
- Always keep a hand on the handlebar. Bicycles are designed to be operated using both hands and feet for maneuvering.
- Signal directions. Use your hands to signal before turning left or right.
- Have a first aid kit. Remember that road accidents can happen anywhere at anytime.
- Always have a toolkit ready. Like any vehicle, it is essential to keep a toolbox in case you get stranded in isolated areas. Repairing your bike or filling up tires can be done anytime, anywhere, if you have the necessary tools.
Riding a bike should be a fun and healthy experience. By practicing basic safety tips and taking responsibility for road rules, cycling enthusiasts can enjoy riding to work or across countries without putting their lives and the lives of people around them in unnecessary danger.
by Joe Fleming