I personally feel it is very important for all bikers to bike to work this Friday, May 16th, National Bike to Work Day. It is important for all the motor vehicles to see the bikes on the road. If you have never commuted to work by bike before you will be amazed at all the benefits it provides. The only way to truly encourage local and state government to provide more funding for protected bicycle lanes and paths is to prove there are a lot of people committed to using their bikes. Of course, it has been shown time and time again, that when the infrastructure is in place to make biking safer and more friendly, people will start using their bikes.
Are you fairly fit? Do you work reasonably close to work (less than 10 miles)? If you answered yes, then you should consider biking to work. First of all, by biking to work you will no longer have to schedule any time for exercise, it will be built in to your commute. You will arrive at work awake, alert and ready to go. You will arrive at home, relaxed and re-energized. You will be part of the solution to air pollution rather than part of the problem. You will save money in gas and repairs of your car.
Now here are some very important safety tips if you have not biked in a while.
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1. Make sure your bike has air in the tire, oil on the chain and the brakes are in good working order. If you are not sure how to make sure your bike is safe, take it to a local bike shop and let them look at it to make sure everything is working well. The best way to have a bad day on the bike is to have a bike in bad condition!
2. Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it. Many people think it is naturally safer to ride against traffic so they can see all the cars. Simply not true. First, if a car were to swerve into you, unlikely you would have time to avoid it and you would have twice the impact. Second, motor vehicles look to have you going the same direction and are much less likely to be startled and swerve. Thirdly, being rear-ended actually only accounts for about 5% of bicycle v. motor vehicle accidents.
3. Be visible. Make sure you have light reflective clothing on and working lights on your bike.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Andrew Kass Bicycle Accident Lawyer/ Biking Enthusiast
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