Friday, 22 May 2015

Whoot! It's bike season!

I think we’ve seen the last of the snow (although, in Alberta there are no guarantees), which means bike season is OFFICIALLY here. Oh sure, I’ve been riding mine a bit (on warmer days), but yesterday, the bike rack at school was FULL—which means, it’s time to remind everyone to pay close attention to the rules of the road.

I know, I know, you ALL know this, but there’s no harm in a yearly reminder, right? At least that’s what my mom says. So—how do you keep safe on the roads? Here are my top five bike safety tips (as adapted from my mom’s rules!):

  1. Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet. Not only is it the LAW (at least in Alberta), but it could save your life.
  2. Adjust your bicycle to fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top bar if using a road bike, and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. Adjust the seat height to allow a slight bend at the knee when your leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat. (If this is complicated, ask your parents for help!)
  3. Check your equipment. Before you ride, make sure your tires are inflated, and that your breaks and gears work. 
  4. See and be seen. Wear bright colours during the day, and if you’re out at dusk or dawn, consider something with reflective strips or flashing lights. Remember, just because YOU can see a driver, doesn’t mean THEY can see YOU. Avoid riding at night if you can.
  5. Beware of road hazards. Those potholes can cause you to lose balance and fall. Steer clear of broken glass, loose gravel, and even that friendly looking dog down the street. Bicycles can scare animals—which makes them unpredictable.
That’s it! It may seem silly, but these five tips can save your life. Your bike isn’t a toy, it’s a vehicle. Now let’s get out there and start wheeling!

Gotta jet! Have a great—and safe—weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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