Here are ten tips to teach your children to encourage safe bike riding:
- Always wear a bike helmet
- Stop and check traffic before riding into a street
- Don't ride at night without a front and rear lights
- Obey traffic signs and signals
- Ride on the right-hand side of the street
- Check your brakes before riding
- Give cars and pedestrians the right-of-way
- Wear light or bright-colored clothing so that motorists can see you
- Be extra careful turning left»motorists don't expect it
- Avoid broken pavement, loose gravel and leaves»which can cause you to lose control of your bike
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Winter Biking Tips
When the cold weather settles into most parts of the country, it's time to put the bike on the trainer, turn on the TV and sweat the hours away, right?
Not necessarily. No matter where you live, following these recommendations will help you ride your bike outdoors on all but the most inclement winter days.
Tip #1: Dress for the Occasion
This is the most obvious consideration when you're planning to ride in cold weather, and it also has the biggest impact on your cycling enjoyment. Layering clothing is the most effective way to combat cold and wet conditions and rapidly changing temperatures.
Your extremities regulate temperature poorly, which is why hands and feet are often the first to get cold; thus, they need some special attention. A variety of different thicknesses and types of gloves, booties, toe-covers and arm and leg warmers may be necessary to accommodate all weather conditions. As you know, an uncovered head is a big source of heat loss. Wear an insulated skullcap underneath your helmet.
Tip #2: Warm Up from the Inside Out
Your winter warm-up should be a little longer than normal in order to give those tissues enough time to heat up and receive adequate blood flow. If you normally spend 15 minutes warming up, boost that to 20 to 25 minutes.
Tip #3: Feed your Body
No matter how appropriately you dress, your body is still going to have to work harder than usual to maintain its core temperature. This means greater energy expenditure to perform the same amount of work. This increased energy expenditure means you're going to bonk sooner than you would in warmer conditions if you don't take in adequate calories. Make sure you're taking in 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour for any ride over one hour.
It's also common for athletes to think that drinking fluids isn't as important as at other times of the year.
Tip #4: Weatherproof Your Bike
Winter doesn't just bring cold weather; it also brings also sloppy conditions. This means that your trusty ride is going to take a bit of a beating from snow, ice, salt and sand. Corroded chains and cables are very common and can lead to poor shifting and braking. Check them often and replace as needed.
Tip #5: Safety First
When the roads are snow- or ice-covered, a mountain or cyclocross bike may give you a little more stability than your road bike. If conditions are particularly nasty, studded tires (from companies such as Schwalbe and Nokian) can give you the traction you need.
Along with adverse weather conditions, winter also means less daylight. A set of lights for both the front and rear of your bike can help you extend your available riding time and keep you safer.
Finally, as always, be a defensive rider in traffic. Drivers may not be expecting to see a cyclist on the road in the winter, and road conditions can affect their control as much as yours.
More Winter Information»