May is Bike to Work Month in Seattle, and to help keep riders as safe as possible during the month we have assembled a few handy tips to keep in mind.
- Wear bright clothing. Sometimes a light or reflectors aren’t enough. Make sure to wear a bright coat/shirt, the more visible you are the better for everyone.
- Always wear a helmet even when you are only going a short distance. You never know what might happen, and you can’t control what mistakes someone else could make. Plus, it is the law.
- Remember your water bottle. You can easily lose track of time on a long flat ride. Make sure to have plenty of hydration before, during, and after. Having a small snack with you is also a great idea.
- Keep your eyes peeled. You may ride the same way to work every morning, most of it may be on a bike path. Don’t get lazy, keep your eyes and ears peeled. Safety first people!
- Stretch! Sometimes you just look at biking as pure transportation. However it’s first and foremost exercise. Make sure to get some leg swings, hip flexor stretches, low back rotations, chest stretches etc. done before and after a ride. The repetitive motion of biking can cause tightness in your hip flexors, hamstrings, quads etc. Most of us sit too much at our desks already shortening our muscles. Add biking up hills, long distance, etc. into the mix and you have a recipe for injuries.
- You are not a car. Stop at lights, stay in the bike lane, use hand signals. Be safe for you and others around you.
- Make sure your bike fits you! Take your bike into any local bike shop or stop by the fitness desk and ask Jake Pedersen or our Multisport Coach, Teresa Nelson for tips on fitting bikes.
- Always do a walk through of your bike before taking off on a long ride, check the tire pressure, brakes and seat to make sure everything is where it should be.
Handy Links to Official Bike to Work Information – Seattle 2011