Summer has officially arrived and Belmont residents are taking advantage of the warmer weather by participating in all types of outdoor activities, including bike riding. Bike riding is a popular activity in Belmont and the surrounding areas. Between 2006 and 2010, a local bicycle coalition reported an increase in the number of residents cycling for both transportation and recreational purposes.
To make each bike riding experience more enjoyable and most importantly, safe, several cycling organizations recommend riders of all ages participate in a cycling workshop. A typical cycling workshop offers cyclists the opportunity to learn emergency maneuver techniques, proper helmet selection, and biking rights and responsibilities. Proper bike maintenance also plays an important role in safe cycling. An excellent tool to use before heading out on a ride is the “ABC Quick” bike check. It should only take cyclists about a minute to perform the steps of an ABC Quick bike check, which include:
A = Air
Check your tire pressure before beginning your ride. If you can squeeze the tire, it probably means the tire pressure is low.
B = Brakes
Your wheel should stop if you squeeze the brakes gently. If either pad touches the rim, have your brakes adjusted or replaced.
C = Chain
Make sure your chain is not rusty, dried out or hanging down too lowly. You can check a chain’s “stretch” by grabbing a ruler and measuring the distance between the centers of link pins. If the distance between link pins is more than 12 inches, have your chain replaced.
Quick = Quick Release
Your quick release skewers should be closed and snug. Improperly fastened quick release skewers can cause a wheel to shift or fall off.
Despite cyclists’ best efforts, the threat of being injured or killed while cycling is a major concern for many individuals. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported more than 51,000 bicyclist injuries in 2009. In the same year, 630 cyclists lost their lives in bicycle accidents nationwide. In 2008, more than 15 percent of the nation’s fatal bicycle accidents took place in California. What’s even more disturbing than the statistics above is that only a fraction of bicycle accident injuries are ever recorded by police.
To learn more about safe cycling, visit the bicyclinginfo.org or U.S. Department of Transportation websites. If you have suffered a serious injury in a Belmont bicycle accident and would like to learn what legal options are available to you, contact a northern California bicycle accident attorney.