Cycling is a great way of getting around if you want to be kinder to the environment while keeping fit and saving money at the same time. Whether you’ve decided that you don’t need a car and want to make cycling your main mode of transportation, or are committed to cycling instead of driving wherever you can, getting off to the right start with your bike will help you enjoy a more pleasant, fulfilling and satisfying experience whether you’re starting cycling to work or to the store. Here are some top tips to keep in mind when you start out if you’ve decided to make the effort to cycle more often.
Keep Your Head Safe
First and foremost, make sure that you have an adequate helmet to protect your head when cycling. Head injuries make up 60% of all cycling-related deaths in the US every year, and many of these fatalities could have sadly been avoided by simply wearing a cycling helmet. Invest in a good helmet to wear when cycling; after all, it could be the difference between life and death. Many states now have bike helmet laws where you’ll be required by law to wear one, but even if your state doesn’t require it, it’s definitely worth wearing one anyway.
Get Bicycle Insurance
With more and more cyclists on the roads today, it makes sense to protect yourself financially in the event of a collision. A good bicycle insurance policy will cover you financially if you need to repair or replace your bike after being involved in an accident. It will also pay out for medical bills that you might incur if you are injured in an accident while riding your bicycle. Good bicycles don’t come cheap; insurance will protect you financially if your ride is stolen, allowing you to replace it quickly and stay on the move. Check out Velosurance for all your bike insurance needs. Along with insurance policies for cyclists, Velosurance offers an informational blog where you can find cycling tips and advice, strategies for safety when riding, and tips for cycling injury prevention.
Get Your Bike Set-Up Property
Getting a proper bike fit and having it set up to fit your body will make riding your bicycle a more comfortable and easier experience. Riding your bicycle will be much more seamless and efficient when you have it set up to fit your body size, shape, and height correctly. In addition to an easier and more enjoyable ride, it’ll also help you reduce the risk of pain and soreness both during and after cycling.
Use Your Gears Correctly
Just like driving a car, gears on bicycles should be used correctlyto get the best experience and prevent putting undue strain on the bike – and your body. Avoid pedaling in high gears for an extended period of time, since this will put extra strain on your needs. Shift into lower gears if you are going uphill.
Avoid Wearing Headphones
The idea of riding your bicycle while listening to music might be appealing, especially if you’re the type of person who would usually blast tunes in the car. However, riding with headphones in can be a very dangerous situation to be in, especially if you are on the road, as it could prevent you from hearing an emergency vehicle coming up behind you or cause you to lose focus on what is going on around you. If you do like to listen to music while you ride, you can get clip-on radios and music players that you can attach to your bike.
Staying alert and keeping your head up when cycling is important, especially if you are riding on the road. One of the most important things is to be aware of any obstacles that might be coming up in front of you so that you can react to them in good time. Bear in mind that compared to driving, small bumps in the road and storm drain gates can be a huge obstacle for bicycles and could even cause a collision if you ride over them without slowing down.
Know the Rules
Wherever you are riding your bicycle, familiarizing yourself with the rules of the road for cyclists is important before you get started. As a cyclist, you’re much more vulnerable compared to being in a car or other vehicle, so it’s important to understand the rules and how to keep yourself safe, especially if you are riding on the road alongside traffic. Make sure that you know what all the road signs mean and stick to designated cyclist paths where they are available.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and develop habits that are better for the planet, cycling instead of driving to work and anywhere else you go on a regular basis is very beneficial.