You’ve made the decision to embrace cycling, whether it’s for commuting, fitness or just pure enjoyment. Before you hit the road, it’s crucial to consider your safety. Here’s how to choose the right bicycle safety gear.
Having the proper equipment can help you to reduce the chance of suffering an injury on your ride. This is one area of cycling that should always remain a priority.
Find a suitable helmet
One of the most important things you must invest in is a quality helmet. A helmet is your first line of defense in case of a fall or collision. Look for one that fits snugly but comfortably on your head and has an adjustable strap for a secure fit. Make sure it meets safety standards – in the U.S., check for a Consumer Product Safety Commission sticker. Don’t forget about your eyes. Debris, bugs or harsh weather conditions can affect your vision, so a pair of cycling glasses can be very beneficial. They come in different tints to suit various lighting conditions.
Increase your visibility
Next, consider your visibility to others. Even if you primarily ride during daylight hours, it’s worth investing in lights and reflective gear. Get a white front light and a red rear light, and consider reflective tape or stickers for your bike or helmet. If you ride at night, a reflective vest or jacket is also a good idea.
Consider these other safety points
For longer rides, consider padded cycling gloves to reduce hand fatigue. Cycling shorts can provide a bit of extra comfort. Take the time to think about when you’ll stop for short rests if you’re going to do a long-distance ride. And, always have water so you can remain hydrated.
Remember to always carry a basic repair kit with you. This should include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit and a mini-pump. This way, you can handle basic repairs on the go. Always choose a safe spot if you have to do repairs. Having reflective triangles to warn motorists of your location is beneficial.
Even with thoughtful preparation, you’re still at the mercy of motorists to help you remain safe. Bicyclists who are struck by a vehicle may suffer from catastrophic injuries. Seeking medical care is crucial if you’re injured. It’s also possible to seek compensation if the incident was the result of a driver’s negligence, but you only have a limited time to do this in California so you’ll want to seek legal guidance swiftly.