An activity that has been around since the early 1800s, bicycling is a fantastically fun outdoor activity bursting with health benefits, including:
- Better digestion
- Burning fat
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Keeping your heart healthy
- Lowering fatigue
In addition to just some of the wonderful health benefits bicycling has to offer, it also serves as a great way to spend quality time with friends and family, and to enjoy any and all nice weather. That being said, there are things you need to consider before hitting the happy, healthy open road. Below are some tips to keep safe and avoid injury while enjoying the feel of two wheels…
Be Seen, Be Safe
The better you’re seen, the less likely you’ll be struck by a vehicle. Use reflective wear and lights when riding during dawn, dusk or at night.
Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of severe head injury in the event of an accident.
Always be aware of your surroundings and keep a lookout for obstacles that may be in your path. Keep your head forward (try not to look down) to improve your reaction time to anything that may be in your way.
Be the Car
Drivers are most accustomed to the patterns of other drivers. Ride as if you were driving a car (e.g., check for traffic, be aware of the drivers around you, etc.). Do not weave in and out of traffic. Obey all traffic laws and lights.
Go With the Flow
Always bike in the same direction as the car traffic. Never ride against it.
Keep Your Bike in Tip-Top Shape
Before any ride, ensure that your bike is comfortable and in good working condition. Check your brakes and your wheels. Make sure your bike and seat are appropriately adjusted for your height (to avoid distracting discomfort).
For longer (or bumpier) rides, make sure to wear padded bicycle shorts and padded riding gloves to reduce the risk of painful nerve compression.
Use Hand Signals
Use hand signals to indicate to drivers and other cyclists what direction you’re headed. Be sure to make eye contact with drivers; do not assume they have seen you and will stop.
Keep an Eye Out
Look out for rough, uneven patches of road or slick surfaces to avoid losing control of the bike. If you see a questionable surface, slow down or walk the bike across.
By sticking to these tips, you can be sure that your next bike ride will be a fun and safe experience.
NEOSM on Wheels
Our very own Dr. Cheryl Rubin of Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (NEOSM) recently completed the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The PMC is a two-day bike-a-thon that runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research.
Come to the Specialists for Bike Injury Care
At NEOSM, our team of orthopedic physicians specializes in all aspects of sports medicine, including comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and preventive care of sports-related injuries. As a practice, we are committed to utilizing the latest advancements to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care possible.