Today marks the first day of spring!
As the weather warms up there will be more and more cyclists on the road. Whether you are an avid cyclist or you like to bike leisurely, follow these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Make sure that your bike is the correct size to your height. You should always feel comfortable and in control on your bike. Frame size will vary by the type of bicycle you are riding but as a general rule, you should be able to stand flat-footed over your bike’s frame (the top tube) with about two to five centimetres of space.
Check to make sure that your brakes are working properly and that your tires are inflated to the correct tire pressure as shown on the tire.
Your helmet should meet safety standards and should not previously be damaged in a collision. Helmets that have been in a collision will no longer protect you even if there is no visible damage. See Mountain Equipment Co-op’s tips for choosing the correct cycling helmet. In Ontario, the law states that every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet.
Always assume that others on the road cannot see you. Wear light-coloured clothing to improve visibility. By law your bicycle must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector. The law also requires white reflective strips on the front forks and red reflective strips on the rear stays.
The law requires that you have a working bell or horn so that others using the road may hear you.
Communicating to others on the road will add to your safety and theirs. Use proper hand signals when turning right, turning left or stopping. The more effectively you use your signals, the more the other road users will be able to anticipate your actions and avoid a collision.
For complete bicycle safety, the Government of Ontario has put together a wonderful guide to ensure that everyone on the road stays safe. Share with us your favourite bike safety tips on Twitter at @Spectrum_HC!