May is National Bike Month
Spring and Summer fun has begun. Kids are soon out of school on the streets, gas prices are at record highs, now is the time we dust off the bike from the storage shed and hit the streets. Here are a few key bike safety tips to know.
When you ride your bike on a sidewalk, you must to yield to pedestrians. Some sidewalk areas with heavy pedestrian traffic are signed prohibiting riding bicycles on the sidewalk.
When you ride on the road, your bike is a vehicle and
you must obey traffic laws.
· Place the helmet low on the forehead, just above the eyebrows.
· Helmet straps should be snug under the chin so the helmet stays in the same position.
The following is the official list of mountain biking rules of the trail from IMBA, otherwise known as the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These mountain bike rules are designed to minimize our impact on our environment as well as promote friendly relationships between all trail users by creating a safe environment for us all. By following these rules we help ensure our access to trails in our local communities will continue and hopefully grow. Riding in control not only helps prevent crashes, it keeps others on the trail safe as well. When you ride out of control, you lose the ability to adjust to the terrain and environment as you pass through it. This can and does lead to dangerous crashes and injury to yourself and others.
Mountain biking is inherently dangerous and we all like to push the limits sometimes, but there is a fine line between pushing the limits safely and pushing them recklessly. Follow these steps to stay safe on the trails and on the right side of the danger line.
Always wear a helmet and any other appropriate safety equipment for the riding conditions.
Never Ride Beyond Your Abilities
There is no shame in walking sections of the trail you don't feel confident enough to ride, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
Use Appropriate Equipment for the Terrain
Some bikes are better for different situations. Just because you can see tire tracks, doesn't mean you can ride it with your bike.
Keep Your Speed in Check
Always keep your speed at a level that will allow you to adjust to any unforeseen obstacles or changes in trail conditions.
Know the Trail
Never push the limits on a trail you are not familiar with. You need to get to know the trail you are riding at slower speeds before you can ride it like the trails you're used to.
Slow Down for Blind Corners
You never know what or who is around a corner when you can't see past it.
Stop and Look
Stop and look at sections of the trail that look like they may pose a challenge before you ride them.
Plan on the Crash
Always look at the consequences of crashing in a particular section or on a particular stunt before trying to ride through it. Sometimes a section can look easy to ride but can have deadly consequences to a crash.
Start Small, Go Big
Work your way up to obstacles and stunts. Find ways to practice moves in less difficult and dangerous situations or at lower speeds before committing yourself to something more dangerous.
Play It Smart
If you think what you are doing is not the smartest, you are probably right. Think about what you are doing and trust your instincts.
Every mountain biker should know and live by these mountain biking rules from IMBA: Mountain Bike Rules of the Trail
The way we ride today shapes mountain bike trail access tomorrow. Do your part to preserve and enhance our sport's access and image by observing the following rules of the trail, formulated by IMBA, the International Mountain Bicycling Association. These rules are recognized around the world as the standard code of conduct for mountain bikers. IMBA's mission is to promote mountain bicycling that is environmentally sound and socially responsible.
1. Ride On Open Trails Only.
Respect trail and road closures - ask if uncertain; avoid trespassing on private land; obtain permits or other authorization as may be required. Federal and state Wilderness areas are closed to cycling. The way you ride will influence trail management decisions and policies.
2. Leave No Trace.
Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Recognize different types of soils and trail construction; practice low-impact cycling. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage. When the trail bed is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
3. Control Your Bicycle!
Inattention for even a second can cause problems. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations.
4. Always Yield Trail.
Let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell is considerate and works well; don't startle others. Show your respect when passing by slowing to a walking pace or even stopping. Anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. Yielding means slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop if necessary and pass safely.
5. Never Scare Animals.
All animals are startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. This can be dangerous for you, others, and the animals. Give animals extra room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders - ask if uncertain. Running cattle and disturbing wildlife is a serious offense. Leave gates as you found them, or as marked.
6. Plan Ahead.
Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding -- and prepare accordingly. Be self-sufficient at all times, keep your equipment in good repair, and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. A well-executed trip is a satisfaction to you and not a burden to others. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
Keep trails open by setting a good example of environmentally sound and socially responsible off-road cycling.
BIKE SAFETY SUMMARY
Bicycles have the right to use on our roads; however, use of Interstate highways by bicycles is discouraged. Bicyclists Must:
A bicyclist has the same rights and duties on the road as drivers of other vehicles, and some additional responsibilities.
Today's post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald
Safety and Security Manager for Plateau