With the increasing cost of gas and the need to economize, more people are riding bicycles to work, to the grocery store and for other errands. Bicycles are fun, efficient and cheaper to use than a car, but like cars, bicycles have their own needed safety equipment.
Without a doubt, the most important piece of bicycle safety equipment is the helmet. Before getting on your bicycle make sure to get and wear an ANSI or Snell-certified helmet. Take the time to get a proper fit and wear it according to manufacturer guidelines.
Having proper lights on a bicycle for night riding is crucial, and in most states it's the law. New technologies have yielded smaller headlights with greater lumens (the light standard of measure.) Get a headlight with a minimum 50 lumen rating. Your rear light should be a red light that gives a pulsating glow. Wear it on your backpack, jacket or back of the bicycle seat.
Like lights, having proper reflectors is the law in many states. Most bicycle shops won't sell bikes without full sets of reflectors. Wheel, front, back and seat reflectors are standard. Do not remove them.
A well-fitting pair of bicycle gloves helps prevent hand fatigue, blistering and in a crash, prevents road rash and cuts.
Using your brain is the most important safety feature for bicycling. If bicycling on roads, take time to research and learn bicycle safety laws for your state. If riding trails, know proper trail riding etiquette and use it.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.