It’s a beautiful day, and you decide to take a bike ride. You hop on your bike, but quickly realize you’re not quite sure how to ride it. You make a few mistakes, and before long, you’re frustrated and pedaling in the wrong direction.
Biking can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to learn the basics first. Here are 10 mistakes people make when riding a bike, so you can avoid them yourself.
1. Not Checking the Bike Before You Ride
Before you get on your bike, it’s important to give it a quick once-over. Make sure the tires are inflated properly, the chain is oiled, and the brakes are working. It only takes a minute to check, but it could save you from a lot of problems down the road.
2. Not Wearing a Helmet
This one is non-negotiable. You should always, always, always wear a helmet when you’re riding a bike. Whether you’re just going for a leisurely ride around the block or competing in a race, a helmet will help protect your head if you fall.
3. Not Wearing the Right Clothing
You might not think that what you wear matters when you’re on a bike, but it does. If you’re wearing loose, baggy clothes, they can get caught in the chain or wheels and cause an accident. It’s also important to wear bright clothing so you’re more visible to drivers.
4. Riding in Traffic
If you can help it, try to avoid riding in traffic. It’s much safer to ride on a bike path or in a park where there are fewer cars. If you do have to ride in traffic, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.
5. Going Too Fast
It’s tempting to try to go as fast as you can when you’re on a bike, but it’s not always safe. If you’re going too fast, you might not be able to stop in time if something crosses your path. It’s better to take your time and enjoy the ride.
6. Not Signalizing
Just like when you’re driving a car, it’s important to let people know when you’re turning. Use your hand signals to let drivers and other cyclists know what you’re doing.
7. Not Yielding
If you’re on a bike path and someone is coming towards you from the other direction, yield to them. Move over to the side so they can pass and avoid a collision.
8. Riding at Night
If you’re going to be out after dark, it’s important to make yourself as visible as possible. Wear reflective clothing and put lights on your bike so drivers can see you.
9. Distracted Riding
Don’t ride your bike while you’re distracted. Just like when you’re driving, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road and be aware of your surroundings. If you need to do something else, pull over first.
10. Not Enjoying Yourself
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! Biking is a great way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. So go out and explore, and make sure to savor the ride.