According to the National Sporting Goods Association, more Americans ride bicycles than ski, golf, or play tennis combined. As you and your family embark on a fun day of bicycle riding, it is important to remember that bike safety should involve a lot more than just a helmet and observing the rules of the road. In fact, the American Physical Therapy Association says that bike-related injuries are largely preventable. Check out the 7 rules of bicycling safety and perform a basic bike check on all bikes in your home to ensure a fun and safe ride!
7 Rules of Bicycling Safety
1. Obey all traffic signs and signals
2. Ride near the curb and go in the same direction as other traffic.
3. Use hand and arm signals.
4. One rider per saddle (seat).
5. Keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
6. Bicycles must have a white light on the front and a red light on the rear (for riding at night).
7. Use effective brakes capable of making the braked wheel skid.
Basic Bike Check (Just remember ABC Quick Check)
A is for Air Infated tires to rated presssure as listed on the sidewall of the tire. Use a pressure guage to ensure proper pressure. Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace if damaged.
B is for Brakes Inspect pads for wear; replace if there is less than 1/4 inch of pad left. Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub tire or dive into spokes. Check brake level travel; at least 1 inch between bar and lever when applied.
C is for Cranks, Chain, and Cassette Make sure that your crank bolts are tight; lube the threads only, nothing else. Check your chain for wear; 12 links sould measure no more than 12 1/8 inches. If your chain skips on your cassette, you might need a new one or just an adjustment.
Quick is for Quick Releases Hubs need to be tight in the frame; your quick release should engage at 90 degrees. Your hub quick release should point back to insre that nothing catches on it. Inspect brake quick releases on it. Inspect brake quick releases to insure that they have been re-engaged.
Check is for Check Over Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly. Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them. Pay extra attention to your bike during the first few miles of the ride.
And remember, always wear a bike helmet!
Visit www.bikeleague.org to learn more about how to ride safely and perform maintenance on your bike.