Each May, the League of American Bicyclist reminds us all during National Bike Month of the many, many benefits of bicycling, and encourage more of us to give biking a try.
“National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride,” according to the organization founded way back in 1880.
And whether you bike to work or school, ride to save money or time, to preserve your health or the environment, or simply to explore your community, safety is always of the utmost importance.
Kern County in recent years has seen far too many bicycle related accidents resulting in severe injuries and even death.
In 2013, the most recent statistics available, Bakersfield saw nearly 100 victims killed or injured on a bicycle, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Pedestrians accounted for another 140 injuries and fatalities, and motorcyclist numbered 60.
With this year’s annual observation coming to a close, Chain | Cohn | Stiles wants to remind all — pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists — to share the roadways with each other every day and all year. For bicyclists, in particular, here are a few quick safety tips to keep in mind before hoping on those wheels.
Before getting on your bicycle, remember A, B, C.
- A is for Air: Inflate tires to the pressure listed on the side of the tire. Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure Check for damage on tired and replace if damaged
- B is for Brakes: Inspect pads for wear. Replace if there is less than 14-inch of pad left. Check pad adjustment. Make sure they do not rub the tire. Look to see that you can fit your thumb between the brake lever handlebar when the brakes are squeezed all the way
- C is for cranks and chain: Pull your cranks away from the bike – if they are loose, tighten the bolt. Check your that your chain is free of rust and gunk.
BE A ‘ROLL MODEL’
Being a “roll model” means:
- Riding and driving focused: Never distracted.
- Riding and driving prepared: Always expect the unexpected.
- Putting safety first: We never know when a crash will occur, regardless of skill level or age. Always wear a bicycle helmet when on a bicycle and a seat belt when in a car.
- Following the rules of the road: A bicyclist is considered a vehicle on the road with all the rights on the roadway and responsibilities of motorized traffic. Expect law enforcement officers to monitor and address unsafe behaviors between motorists and bicyclists that put bicyclists at risk.
- Share the road: Both vehicle drivers (motorist and bicyclist) should look out for one another and show mutual respect.