Follow Simple Maintenance Tips and Road Rules for Bicycle Safety

BY BARRY WARNER

The modern bicycle is a versatile machine offering options for transportation, recreation and fitness. Cycling also provides a host of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular functioning, leg strength, balance, coordination, enhanced mood and weight management. To grow awareness for bicycle safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated the month of May as Bicycle Safety Month.

During the recent cold winter months most bicycles were dormant, but have resurfaced this spring. Before heading outside for the first ride of the season, basic bicycle maintenance steps will ensure a safe, efficient ride all season. Robert Ohnikian of Bicycle Depot in Pearl River said, “The two most important suggestions when getting ready to ride are pumping the proper amount of air in the tires and lubricating the chain. Overinflating the tires can cause a blowout and a dirty and dry chain can impair shifting performance and can cause an increased rate of chain wear.”

To be a ‘roll model’ and avoid injury during bicycling, it is important to follow a few simple road rules:

1. Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, because crashes can occur at any time.

2. Stay alert when riding and keep your eyes focused for any obstacles.

3. Follow the rules of the road when riding, because you have the same rights as the vehicle next to you.

4. Obey all traffic signs, signals and lane markings when riding in the street.