Fall Bike Safety Tips
As the leaves change and the temperatures drop, many jump on their bikes to explore the Northwest suburbs. You can see all of the Halloween decorations in your neighborhood. And you can experience the beautiful foliage in our state and county parks. But unfortunately, the change in weather can lead to more bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
General Fall Bike Safety Tips
Examples of fall bike safety can include:
- Stay aware of your surroundings,
- Ride defensively,
- Prepare your bike, and
- Dress for safety.
As you ride, the weather conditions and leaves cover many troubling spots you could easily see in August. Any form of metal, such as railroad tracks or manhole covers, become more slippery during fall days. Additionally, piles of leaves can become matted and slick. Fall bike safety requires you to watch where you ride.
Like small children, many of us still live to watch water splash up from a puddle. But the water can disguise the same metal manhole covers or cover a pothole. What seems like a fun action can easily send you off of your bike and cause serious injury.
The weather conditions and darkening skies make it important for you to pay attention and ride defensively. For example, if your bike has rim brakes, you need to ensure that you can stop in time with the moisture in the air. Experts recommend feathering the brakes on and off until you feel them grip the rim. This will help remove the water and dirty that can cause the pads to ineffectively grip the rim.
Prepare Your Bike
First, check your tire pressure. As the temperatures fluctuate, so do your tires. If you want to stay safe, you need to have adequate air pressure in your tires.
Additionally, wet and dirty roads tend to kick up a lot of dirt. The dirt makes your chain and bike all grimy. Make sure to clean your chain more often and keep your bike as clean as possible. A dirty bike will mean more trips to the bike repair shop as well as to the laundry machine.
Dress for Success
The days have begun to get shorter and before you know it, we will fall back one hour. Studies show that the number of pedestrian accidents rise around 6 PM after the clocks have moved back an hour. Additionally, many October days include some grey skies and wet conditions. Good rain gear can keep you dry and warm. Remember to protect your legs and feet as well as your upper body. Waterproof shoes become a must to keep your feet dry. And those warm pair of socks will keep them from shriveling from the frost in the air. Wearing layers makes you adaptable to whatever the day brings. Keep comfortable commuting in any conditions!
Get yourself good lights for the front and rear of your bike. Your clothing should also include reflective striping.
Stay safe this fall on your bike with these fall bike safety tips. However, if you do get injured while on your bike due to the negligence of another person, please contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today.