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The Smart Way To Bike.

    I guess you can call me a man on the move. I love the outdoors. I love my motorcycle. And more recently, I love bike-riding; the kind of bike my kids ride and the kind I rode as a kid.
    There are few things in this world more invigorating than a warm spring morning, an undiscovered trail, and a long, relaxing bike ride. But, just like operating any other vehicle, cyclists need to stick to safety guidelines in order to make sure your ride remains invigorating and not disabling.

    Nothing Between You & That Car But Skin
    Just like riding a motorcycle, riding a bike offers you no protection from colliding with any other vehicle on the road. All you have is your skill and your good instincts. In 2015 alone, of the more than 42,000 cyclists on the road, 840 ended up with fatal injuries. And, statistics show that about half of those fatalities involved cyclists who were not wearing helmets.
    So, first and foremost, always wear your helmet. There are many instances where a cyclist who was fatally injured might have survived if only he were wearing protective head covering. Don’t leave home without your helmet. And make sure it conforms to the American National Standard Institute’s guidelines.

    Rules Of The Road
    Like you need to do when operating any other vehicle on the road, obey traffic signs and signals. Stop at stop signs. Stop at red lights. Yield at yield signs. Slow down in and around school crossings. Never ride against traffic.
    And just as you’d do driving your car, always alert other drivers about which direction you intend to go – use your hand signals. No one in a car or truck wants to guess. Also, never pass on the right because you might not be seen by other motorists.

    There’s More . . .
    More than any other vehicle, bicycles demand that you exercise caution. So before you even begin your ride, make sure your bike is in good working order. Check your brakes and tires and make sure all is good to go.
    Wear clothing that makes you visible, day and night. If you insist on cycling in the rain, remember your rain gear.
    But one thing you can leave at home is your headphones. It serves both as a distraction and a mute button to all of your surroundings. Wait until you pullover for that picnic lunch to play your music.

    Most Important . . .
    Stay alert at all times. Do not ride while intoxicated. Cyclists must always be aware of their surroundings. That means being on the lookout for potholes and other road hazards. One unseen pothole could knock you right out of commission for a long time.
    And since you never can anticipate anyone or anything suddenly obstructing your ride, always keep both of your hands ready to brake. That readiness can help you to avoid big and little disasters.

    Other Drivers
    In New York, it is rare that you will be the only one on any road. That means you have to also be aware of other drivers; other cyclists, motorcyclists, and car and truck drivers. Pay attention to where they’re all going and how they’re all driving. If you are able, make eye contact with other drivers to insure that your presence is known to them.

    When We Were Kids . . .
    I never remember things being this complicated when I was a kid riding my shiny new bike. But, through the years, Department of Transportation’s accident statistics support these safety guidelines for children as well as adults. Bike riding still is a ton of fun. Doing it the safe way does not diminish the thrill of it all.

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