May is National Bike Month and includes events across communities nationwide. In 2015, Bike to Work Week will be May 11-15 with Bike to Work Day on May 15. Biking fervor comes as no surprise because biking commuters grew by more than 62 percent from 2000 to 2013.
Choosing to utilize your bike more will save you time and money, like on parking fees at work, and allow you to arrive at your destinations feeling happier and healthier. As active members of the community and subsequent lovers of cycling, the attorneys at Hupy and Abraham would like to share favorite tips for bike riding to work and how to ride safely.
Bike to Work
Prepare your bike. Choose a bike that is outfitted with fenders, racks or baskets, lights and a secure lock. You’ll likely have some things to take with you, so look into baskets or panniers to carry loads, or opt for a backpack to keep your items close. Worried about rain? Look into a good rain cape, poncho or water pack to keep you dry in the rain.
Plan your route. Find a safe and pleasant route using your city’s bike route map. But, remember to test your route to work so that you know how long your ride takes to make it to work on time. Facing hills? Consider an electric-assist bicycle to help with difficult inclines and to limit your likelihood of arriving at work disheveled.
Plan ahead. Make sure you have a secure place to lock your bike, or ask your employer if you are permitted to secure it somewhere in the office. Your distance will increase the chances of needing additional grooming at your destination. If your ride requires exertion that affects your appearance, consider bringing separate outfits and personal items to work.
Follow road rules. Obey traffic signs, signals and follow line markings. And, use hand signals to help notify drivers of your intentions. Signaling satisfies the law and is a general courtesy that protects a rider’s safety. Never ride against traffic as drivers tend not to look for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road.
Navigate traffic with care. Ride in the middle of the lane in slower traffic and be very careful when turning left. You have two options when turning left. 1. like a car: signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left or, 2. like a pedestrian: ride straight to the far side of the crosswalk and walk your bike across. Always use bicycle lanes when available.
Remain visible. To ensure you are seen by other drivers, make direct eye contact with them and consider giving a small wave before making any maneuvers. Always use lights and reflectors at night. The law requires bikes to be equipped with a white headlight (visible from at least 500 feet ahead) and a rear reflector or taillight (visible up to 300 feet from behind) at night. Helmets with lights and reflectors are a great safety option as well.
We hope these tips will encourage you to get your bike ready for the season, and join Hupy and Abraham in participating during Bike Safety Awareness Month and Bike to Work Week. For more information regarding bicycling safety, request a free copy of “Your Guide to Bicycle Safety” HERE and learn how to protect every bicyclist in your family.
If for any reason you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham today. Call 800-800-5678 now for a free consultation.