Bicycling is a fun, healthy and an environmentally friendly way to spend time outside. The city of Atlanta is one of many cities across the country that has seen an increase in cyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declared May as National Bicycle Awareness Month. The increase of bicyclists both locally and nationally is exciting, but safety for those cyclists needs to be at the forefront of our minds.
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Every cyclist should be well-equipped with a bike safety kit. The kit is a suggestion from the NHTSA to help riders of all ages be more prepared if something was to go wrong. So before you head out the door on your next ride, make sure you are properly prepared for the pavement.
Wear a Helmet
- Whether you have no experience or decades of experience on a bicycle, it is important to always wear a helmet.
- Wearing a helmet is essential to riding because it can help prevent significant head trauma.
- In the state of Georgia, you are required to wear a helmet while riding a bike if you are under 16 years of age. However, we suggest that you wear a helmet regardless of your age.
- Make sure that your helmet is on correctly and fits properly.
- Water is an essential part of a bike safety kit because riding can be strenuous—especially in the Georgia heat.
- Do not allow yourself to become dehydrated. Always have enough water with you in case you pop a tire and are stuck on the side of the road.
- Bicycles have many parts so it is essential to have some tools in your safety kit in case something goes wrong.
- Whether you are an avid bicyclist or out for a leisurely ride, it is crucial to have a puncture repair kit, pocket maintenance and mini repair kit with you. These items can easily be stored in a small bag.
- Before you venture out, properly inspect your bike. Make sure that tires are properly inflated and that your gears are working properly.
- As drivers of vehicles, it is extremely nerve racking when we come up on a cyclist—with or without reflective gear. However, when a cyclist is wearing some sort of reflective clothing or light, drivers can better distance themselves from the rider and give them the proper room on the roadway.
- Be seen! Reflective gear, front lights and back lights help riders see and be seen in order to prevent an accident!
- When riding a bicycle at night, riders must have a reflector on the front of the bike and should consider adding additional reflectors and lights to the rear.