May is National Bike Month
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents to follow safety guidelines when out bike riding. One of the most important things you can do to stay safe when riding your bicycle is to wear a helmet that fits right every time you ride, as this is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash. In Rockland County, all cyclists, no matter what their age, must wear a bike helmet.
“There are many great reasons to ride your bike: It offers fun, freedom, and exercise, and it is good for the environment. Springtime means more cyclists on the roads, which can result in more injuries. To avoid crashes, be focused and alert to the road and all traffic around you; anticipate what others may do before they do it,” said Dr. Ruppert.
Bike riders must follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Here are some additional safety basics that you should know when you are out bike riding:
-Ride single file in the direction of traffic.
-Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections.
-Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder.
-Wear bright clothing and ride during the day.
-If night riding can’t be avoided, wear reflective clothing.
-Make sure your bike has reflectors on the bike frame in the front and back, pedals and spokes, as well as a horn or bell. A rear-view mirror and a bright headlight are also recommended.
-Do not wear earbuds when cycling. If you must stay connected, wear only one in your right ear.
-No child under age one is permitted as a passenger on a bicycle.
-If you haven’t taken your bike out in a while, chances are it will need a slight tune-up. Here are some areas that should be checked before you get back on your bike:
-Check your tires to see if they need air.
-Spin the wheels to make sure the tires are not worn.
-Check your brakes. Test them to make sure they can stop on dry pavement.
-Make sure your bike frame is secure, and chains should not be rusted or black with grime.
-Make sure your seat is secure.
-Take your bike for a short trial ride in a parking lot or safe area to be sure the bike is in working order.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, 40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get around.
“Our roads are shared by bicyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles, and if we fail to achieve a peaceful coexistence on our roads it will result in tragedy. It is our responsibility to be respectful of each other on the roadways to keep everyone safe,” said County Executive Day.
The Rockland County Department of Health is working with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to educate the community on traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian safety measures to keep you and your family safe. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2blhwdg or call the Health Department at (845) 364-3755.
For more information about bicycle safety, visit https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/bicycle-and-wheel-sport-safety.