Bike riding is a sport kids and adults enjoy doing. It is a good form of recreation and exercise at the same time. But just like any kind of outdoor activity, there are safety precautions which must be observed while bike riding, which include wearing safety gears.
Before you get too excited and start to pedal your bicycle, be sure to follow this checklist of safety gears you should be wearing for your protection:
Helmet is utmost important for any open vehicles such as motorcycle and bicycle. Helmet provides protection for your head against injury in case of accidents. Don’t ever ride without this safety gear.
Aside from a helmet, gloves also provide added protection in case of accidental falling while bike riding. It is especially designed for protecting the palms of your hands when you accidentally fall on the pavement. While driving, gloves also protect your hands from direct exposure to the sun which could lead to sunburn. For long rides, it is more ideal to use padded gloves as protection against compression stress from holding the handlebars. Pads also provide added comfort during winter.
- Full Body Armor
Some parents outfit their children with full body armor as protection against sharp objects in case of accidents. However, this gear can be warm inside especially during summer and warm weather. Full body armor is composed on knee or shin armor which can protect the knee area during high speed collision. There is also the body armor which can protect you from broken vertebrae or ribs.
Although bike riding is not a contact sport like boxing, riders still need a mouth protection against strong impact especially in adventure riding or long distance riding. There are studies showing that a blow to the chin causes more damage than just messing up the teeth if the person is not wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards stabilize the jaw which can prevent further damage. And it is an important gear you should also wear when riding a bicycle.
If you will be riding a bike in a high traffic area especially for long-distance travels, having a bike flag may be able to save you from road accidents. Flags help other motorists see you.
- Active Lights
If you are riding a bicycle after dark, active lights is a must. It lets other drivers see and prevent them from bumping you. Reflective lights are not as effective as active lights so you might as well invest in this type of gear. Commonly used active lights are blinking rear lights which let others identify your bicycle.
- Reflective Materials
Reflective stickers and other materials can also help especially during nighttime. You could put them on your helmet and on the body of your bicycle.
However, even if you are wearing all these safety gears, there is no guarantee that they will protect you during accidents. Each rider must focus on safety first. Do not expose yourself to dangerous road conditions which are prone to accidents and can lead to injury or even death. Instead, be a defensive driver. Only travel when and where it is relatively safe.