Did you know that May is physical activity and sports month? I thought it would be fun to share about Bike to Work Week with you guys, but then I discovered… that everywhere has a different Bike to Work Week! Comment below with your location and when your local Bike to Work Week is—if you can’t find an official one, let us know when you plan to commit to your own Bike to Work Week!
Even if you don’t live in Portland, San Francisco or Denver (the three most bike-able cities in the US!), you can get involved with active transportation to and from work where ever you live. Here are a few tips for biking safely, no matter where you live:
- Wear a helmet! For kids and adults alike, make sure you wear a helmet when you ride your bike! (Also, I didn’t mean for that to rhyme, but maybe it will help riders remember!) Remember that bike helmets are only good for one impact—which means not only a crash, but also any high-velocity impacts with a hard surface. For instance, if your helmet is stored on a high shelf in the garage and falls off to the cement floor, the foam may become damaged and won’t protect you in a crash—and you might not be able to see the damage.
Make sure your helmet fits. Public Health Nurses, insurance companies, and local cycling organizations should be able to tell you if your helmet fits properly. Read up on how to size a helmet before you purchase one.
- Stay visible. If you’re riding on the road, make sure you have adequate reflectors on your bike, clothing and helmet. Ride in the correct part of the lane (stay right, or take over the middle of the lane if there is not enough room for cars to pass safely to discourage them from doing so).
- Learn to ride safely. Many cities offer Safe Cycling classes—check with your local road safety authority, police service, active transportation organization, public insurance organization, school district or college/university to discover where you can take a cycling safety course.
- Learn your local laws. Where I live, it’s only legal to ride on the sidewalk if your bike tires are under 16 inches—your laws may vary. Know them before you head out on the road.
- Identify yourself! Take a sport ID bracelet, medical alert key chain, or ID necklace out on the road with you. If you have specific medical needs, ensure you take items like inhalers for asthma or COPD, a glucose meter and fast acting glucose if you have diabetes, or nitroglycerin if you have heart disease, out with you.
Do you cycle to work regularly? Do you plan to use your city’s Bike to Work Week to start a good habit, or are you picking your own week? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!