For many cyclists, at the first sign of snowflakes, they hang up their bike for the season and engage in some other mode of transport. However, they are missing out on one of the most fun riding experiences of life. While cycling in the snow is innately more dangerous, there are few more refreshing experiences than cycling in the snow. However, with road conditions worse and motorists still just as uninformed when it comes to sharing the road, there are a few more safety tips to consider.
You Have the Right to a Lane
The biggest issue with cycling in the snow is that bike paths are often left ignored by snow plows. Furthermore, they are often the first victims of snow bank build up as well. If you find your usual bike lane is clogged with snow, don’t be afraid to move into the lane. You have the right to the road just like any motorist and if the bike lane is too narrow or unusable, you are fully within your right to merge into traffic.
Take Turns Wider
Between the snow banks and slick conditions, taking turns on a dime with relative quickness is going to be pretty impossible. The key to riding safely in the winter is to go slow and take as much space as you need, particularly when it comes to taking turns. However, always do a shoulder check before wide turns to make sure there is not a motorist speeding up on you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dismount
Riding in the winter for many cyclists means putting on winter tires more akin to mountain bikes. However, even with proper winter tires, areas of thick snow or heavy ice can be difficult to navigate. Yet, just because you are riding your bike doesn’t mean you should have to force yourself through. If the path is too treacherous, just get off and walk it for a spell.
For many areas of the United States, winter cycling is a big time for accidents. Between sheer lack of knowledge and the stress caused by snow, accidents are more likely. However, if you have been in an accident on your bicycle, contact us today so Gary Brustin can help get you the justice you deserve.
Bicycle riders should strive to keep their riding as smooth as possible. This will help improve your biking experience, and it will also keep you safe. Here are some tips for doing so.
Clean Your Bike
Dirt and dust will make your bike more creaky. Clean all parts of your bike regularly.
Oil Your Bike
Make sure your bike, especially the chain, is oiled and lubricated. This will provide a smoother ride.
Check Tire Pressure
Deflated tires will cause your ride to be more jerky. Make sure they are filled with the right amount of air before setting out.
Make Sure the Bike Fits
You also want to fit comfortably on your bike. Adjust the bike seat and the front handlebars so that you have a comfortable sitting position when riding.
To ride more smoothly, you should be in the right position as well. Exercising or biking regularly will help you stay fit and will make biking easier. If you need to take a break to restore your breath, do so. Take around some water or an energy drink with you, especially during the hot weather. During the cold weather, make sure to bundle up so that you do not freeze.
Avoid Sudden Moves
Always be alert and on the lookout. This will prevent the need for sudden moves on your part. Be on the lookout for obstacles and moving motorists or pedestrians. Keep your hands on the brakes at all times. Brake in advance; avoid sudden jerky braking moves.
If you ever get in a bicycle accident, contact us immediately for legal help.
As your most important piece of safety equipment, it is crucial you maintain your bicycle helmet so that you can have your head protected on every ride you take. However, while it seems pretty sturdy, a helmet doesn’t last a lifetime. It needs to be replaced, and too few cyclists realize that. So when should you replace your bicycle helmet?
Have You Been in a Crash?
Some damage to a helmet is pretty obvious. If you can see cracks or splinters, then that is a pretty obvious sign that you need to replace it. However, not all damage is obvious. If you have been in a crash where you fell on your helmet, then the integrity of it could very well be compromised. In the next crash, your head may not be protected quite as well.
What’s the Shelf Life?
Believe it or not, most manufacturers put a shelf life on their helmets. Typically it is recommended to replace them every 3 to 5 years. This might be a ploy to sell more helmets, but typically age can affect the integrity of the materials. That being said, helmets are made with safer and safer materials each year as well.
Does Your Helmet Fit Properly?
This is more typical of children, but it can happen with adults too. Sometimes you just outgrow your helmet or you find that it doesn’t fit as well as it should. If your helmet doesn’t fit properly, it is definitely time to replace it since it clearly won’t do its intended job.
Bicycle helmets protect you, but not all of you. If you have been in a cycling accident and want to make sure your injuries are covered, contact us today.
When it comes to road cycling, typically riders are pretty knowledgeable about the rules. It is the drivers that tend to be less knowledgeable. However, while riding solo is pretty intuitive, riding in a group can be a much different experience. Many solo riders who group up for the first time find this out the hard way. So for the solo cyclist getting ready for their first group ride, here are some tips.
- Call Out Cars – When riding as a group, there are a few blind spots. The bikes up front often aren’t aware of cars in the rear while the riders in front have first sight in cars up front. Good front and rear guards will call out cars with “car up” or “car down” respectively so the cyclists can tighten up the group structure.
- Ride Two by Two or Single – When you are in a cycling group, you may feel a bit safer riding three deep because it feels like you actually have a presence on the road. However, if you start taking up an entire lane going at bicycle speed, don’t be surprised if you get some honks. Typically, you want to ride two deep so the car feels like it can pass you, but will still pass you properly by going into the other lane for safety.
- Leave Car Spaces on Uphills – If you are going uphill, around a curve, or on a narrow road, spread your group so there is a car’s length space between each biker. This allows cars to pass safely in between without trying to bypass the whole group at once.
It may seem like riding in a group is safer, but no amount of cyclists will make it safe if drivers don’t know how to deal with them. If you have been in a cycling accident with a car, contact us today.
Before riding your bike, it’s important that you check to make sure that all of its parts are in perfect working order. Just one malfunctioning part can have dire consequences. Here is a bicycle safety checklist to take care of before riding out.
- Do the tires have enough air?
- Are there cuts or bulges in the tires? Is there a good tread?
- Do the wheels spin without any problems?
- Are any spokes broken?
- Do they work properly?
- Do they stop the bike smoothly without sliding?
- Make sure your bike does not move when the brakes are applied.
- Make sure there is no rust and that the chain is clean.
- Make sure the chain is lubricated.
- Make sure the chain fits snugly.
- Is it firm and secure?
- Do you feel comfortable on it?
- Is it straight?
- Is it the right height?
- Make sure there is no looseness in any nuts or fasteners. Make sure all parts, such as the seat, handlebars, etc are fastened tightly.
- Make sure the frame is clean and without large patches of rust.
- Make sure the handlebar is straight and aligned with the front wheel.
- Make sure you have a red reflector light in the back which can be seen 300 feet away.
- Make sure you have a white light in the front which can be seen 300 feet away.
- Make sure the lights are straight, firmly attached and are working.
If you ever suffer an injury while riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us immediately for legal help.
For the majority of commuting cyclists, motor vehicles are the real danger. However, there are many times where cyclists are put at odds with pedestrians as well. While a crash with a pedestrian isn’t quite as dramatic, unlike with an automobile, both the cyclist and the pedestrian can get injured pretty badly. This is why it is important to know how to ride around pedestrians safely.
In many states, it is illegal to ride your bicycle on sidewalks, but even where it is allowed, it is not advised. Even when riding through the door zone, you are not quite exposed to hazards as frequently as you are on the side walk.
However, there are times when riding around pedestrians is unavoidable. Typically, the key is to go slowly while still being able to ride efficiently, and if you need to go by a pedestrian, ride behind them, not in front. When shocked suddenly, it is our first instinct to jump forward. This means if you jet out in front of a pedestrian, they may accidentally end up in your path. By going behind them, they will safely put themselves out of your path. So even if you are moving at a decent speed, there is less of a chance that you will hit a pedestrian if you move behind them.
Even if you are the master student of bicycle safety, accidents happen. It is just the very nature of the world. So even if you ride around pedestrians frequently and think you know everything about staying safe, you will probably get into an accident one day. However, if you need legal representation for your accident, contact us. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to representing cyclists.