Now that cycling season is well underway Bike Hoboken wants keep you safe, please watch for brief safety tips. The first tip is about focus and concentration. Many crashes occur when the rider gets “in the zone” when everything is right. It is typically at that time that the mind starts to wander. This is when accidents occur. Remember to stay focused and attentive to your surroundings at all times.
Safety Tip 2: Proper wearing of a Helmet
Helmets should be level & not cocked to one side. Straps should be snug. No more than 2 fingers should fit between your chin and the strap. No more than 2 fingers width between your eye brows and the bottom of the helmet & replace your helmet after a crash or when it shows signs of wear or distress; usually after 5 seasons.
Safety Tip #3: Safe and Polite Bike Handling
Its our job as cyclists to operate our bikes safely and politely… follow the rules of the road and be wary that officers in NYC and most likely soon in Hoboken are writing cyclists tickets for running red lights and failing to stop at stop signs. It’s our job to follow the rules as we are considered a motor vehicle. If you see vehicles doubled parked in our bike lanes kindly educate them. Safe Riding.
Safety Tip #4 : See for Yourself
We all know how common it is to hear a rider in front of you declare that traffic is clear for you to proceed through your turn at an intersection or proceed straight. But how true is that declaration?
It may be clear for that rider at that moment in time as THEY are at the intersection but in fact, it might not be true for YOU.
NEVER assume that you can proceed through an intersection because you heard someone yell “clear”. Consider this a courtesy and nothing more. It is your responsibility as a safe cyclist to check for clearance at every intersection and not rely on another rider’s “clear call”.
“Be alert and stay aware”
Safety Tip #5: Staying Cool in the Heat
Part 1:Temps hit 90+ with humidity, you need to take proper measures to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Hydrate with proper electrolyte replacement as water is not enough. Read this article to learn about the signs, symptoms & helpful tips to take in case you need to help a fellow rider who has succumb to heat related symptoms. Immediate and proper action can save a life. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/heat_exhaustion_and_heat_stroke/article_em.htm
Part 2: Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, occur when your body can’t keep itself cool. As the air temperature rises, your body stays cool when your sweat evaporates. On hot, humid days, the evaporation of sweat is slowed by the increased moisture in the air. When sweating isn’t enough to cool your body, your body temperature rises, and you may become ill.
Part 3: Signs & Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:
Feeling weak and/or confused
Part 4: What to do if rider has heat stroke:
Get the victim to a shady area.
Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods you can. Immerse in a tub of cool water; place person in a cool shower; spray victim with cool water from a hose; wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan them vigorously.
Continue cooling efforts until the body temp drops to 101-102°F.
Safety Tip #6: When Riding in the Rain
When getting caught in the rain your skills are put to the test.
Use extra caution:
1) Pull over to find temporary shelter when warranted
2) When cornering slow down
3) Try to avoid riding over painted lines, manhole covers, sand & gravel as they become slicker
4) Allow for greater stopping distances. Rims are wet & brake calipers are less effective
5) Increase your distance between you and the bike in front of you to avoid the wheel spray (aka “rooster tail”)
6) Downhill: reduce your speed when the roads are wet
7) Increase your visibility. Use tail & head lights (check your batteries ahead of time)
Safety Tip #7: The Speed Wobble
On downhills the front wheel can wobble. This phenomenon goes by different names: high speed; front end; & even death wobble. Two simple actions to dampen the wobble:
1. Get out of the saddle to redistribute the weight on the bike, or
2. Squeeze your knees against the top tube of the frame
Please visit the link to get a better idea of what the speed wobble can look like
Bike Safety Tip #8: Don’t Be a Jerk!
Remember these simple ways to be considerate when you’re on your bike.
1) Yield to pedestrians
2) Stop at red lights and stop signs
3) Ride in the direction of traffic
4) Use a white front light and red tail light at night
5) Wear a helmet
Added tip: try to ride in the streets rather than the sidewalks if over age 17.