Little girl on country bike ride with momA ride on your bike is a simple, fun thing to do on any day. But the day will go all wrong if you don’t take steps to make your ride safe. Don’t take chances thinking it’s the cool thing to do.

That’s because over 300,000 kids go to the emergency room every year, due to bike accidents. Make safety a priority.

Here are six simple tips to remember:

1. Bike check

Be sure your chain is on properly and not too loose. Double check the brakes before leaving. Make sure that the seat height isn’t too high or too low, and it allows you to get on and off without much trouble.

2. Helmet

Do. Not. Ride. your bike without wearing a helmet. If you get a head injury, it could mean a possible brain injury. Not only does that hurt, but it could damage your future. Be sure the straps are snug around your chin.

3. Reflective and bright clothing

Wear light colored clothes or even reflective clothing. Put reflective strips on your bike as well. If it becomes dusk during a long afternoon ride, you want to be sure that drivers can see you.

4. Rules of the road

Stop when crossing traffic. Walk your bike across intersections. Ride on the same side of the street with the vehicles. Stay on bike paths. Don’t circle around parked cars.

5. Stay alert

Watch the road ahead for potholes, loose gravel, puddles or people in front of you. Don’t wear earphones that prevent you from hearing cars and horns. Make sure your pant legs or shoelaces can’t get tangled in the spokes or chain.

6. Act like a car

Make eye contact with approaching drivers to know if they see you. Don’t weave in and out of traffic. Stop at all stop signs and lights. Obey traffic signs.

Bike riding is more fun when you know you have prepared yourself against accidents. Being safe is not for sissies, it’s just plain smart.

Written by: Ruby Holder Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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