Wednesday, 10 August 2011 21:44 administrator
Follow these simple safety tips to ensure a fun, injury-free ACT Ride!
Review the State of Wisconsin Rules for Riding Bicycles On The Road
- Before you get on your bike, put on a helmet. Always, always, always!
- Bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as cars.
- Stop at stop signs and stoplights. If you are hesitant to stop because of the momentum it takes to get going again, learn how to down shift, just like in a car. (Read more about this in the Shifting Section.)
- When stopping at a light or a stop sign, stop behind the line of cars. Do not attempt to pass them on the right.
- Use hand signals to indicate intentions. Always use your left arm. Left arm out and elbow bent up for a right turn; left arm straight out for a left turn; left arm out and elbow down for slowing or stopping.
- Never ride against traffic.
- Watch for car doors opening from parked cars.
- Stay as far to the right as safely possible. Give at least three feet clearance to parked cars and pedestrians.
- Always approach railroad tracks at a 90-degree angle.
- Wet roads? Double your normal braking distance.
- Leaves? Gravel? Ice? Relax, anticipate the road condition, keep the bike underneath you and stay centered over your bike. Slow down and try to keep the wheels straight. Don't brake or turn unless necessary.
- Never wear headphones while riding. You need to be able to hear approaching danger in order to avoid it.
- If you have pedals that clip to your shoes, make sure to get through an intersection before attempting to clip in.
Personal Rider Safety
- Monitor yourself for signs of dehydration: dry or sticky mouth, fatigue, dizziness or confusion, low urine output, heartburn or stomachache, recurring or chronic pain, lower back pain, headache, mental irritation or depression, water retention, inelastic skin or sunken eyes.
- If you vomit at any point during your ride, seek medical services immediately -- even if you do not feel other symptoms!
- Keep your energy up! Don't "bonk" or deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles.
- Eat before you get hungry. Don't worry about overeating; you are working hard and burning a lot of calories.
- Warm up before doing any heavy lifting or other strenuous tasks.
- You need to be very aware of your surroundings in order to ride safely. Under Wisconsin state law, wearing headphones while biking is illegal. On the ride the use of headphones while riding is strictly prohibited. However, you may use external speakers/music players. Keep in mind that many of the areas we ride though have noise ordinances and you may be asked to turn your music down or off.
- Please keep safety in mind when bringing music sources and speakers since long cords or bulky items may fall or become entangled while biking.
Group Riding Safety
- Call out hazards to fellow riders.
- Ride single file. Although Wisconsin law does permit bicycles to ride side-by-side as long as other traffic is not impeded, it is simply safer to ride single file. Always ride single file uphill as motorists can't see what is coming over the crest.
- If you need to pass, pass on the left side and call out "Passing on the left."