Safety Tips while Riding Your Bike - dummies

By Dennis Bailey, Keith Gates

Part of Bike Maintenance and Repair For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Taking care of your bike is only one aspect of staying safe while riding. Take these steps to reduce strain on your body, protect your bike, and improve safety while your ride:

  • Pay attention to the road in front of you. Your goal is to avoid obstacles like rocks, potholes, and other hazards, which, if you hit them, could result in a bent rim or other incident.

  • Instead of jumping or riding across a curb (which could damage your rim or, at worst, cause you to crash), dismount and walk your bike.

  • Shift into your lowest gear before you reach the steepest section of a climb. Trying to shift when you’re barely moving puts a lot of strain on the chain and derailleurs, and if the chain springs off the largest cog into the spokes the damage will be even greater. Plus, you may not be able to shift in time, causing you to come to a stop.

  • If you have to go over a bump, raise yourself off the saddle and use your arms and legs as shock absorbers as if you were a horse jockey, to lessen the impact of the blow.