Cycling can be a fun activity for seniors. A lot of independent living Houston seniors and others across the world love it. Nevertheless, it should be approached with a lot of caution through appropriate bicycle safety tips and traffic rules. Many bike accidents involving the elderly are reported every year and that raises concern. Certain rules should be followed to make cycling safe and comfortable.
3 main cycling safety tips for independent living Houston seniors
Some of the most important cycling safety tips are discussed below:
1. Choosing the right bike
As a senior, it is always good to have the right bike with you. The right bicycle for you mostly depends on where you plan to ride. Before making a decision on which bike you are going to use, you should consider the following:
- Type of bike
- Bike fit
- Bike components and features
Type of bike
To know which type of bike is right for you, you should put into consideration the places you will be riding. Will you be riding on a pavement, unpaved places or mountainous areas?
Types of bikes include:
- Mountain bikes: they come with shock absorbing features and can handle roots of trees and rocks found in high lands. They have better braking systems than other bikes and have low gears to handle steep terrains. Mountain bikes come in different types depending on their specifications. Examples include cross country bikes, downhill bikes and trail bikes
- Road bikes: these bikes are good for use on pavements. They have light handlebars that curve downwards making it convenient if you want to move faster. Because of the way they are structured, they allow you to use a number of cycling positions.
- Hybrid bikes: these bikes come with mixed features of both the mountain bike and the road bike.
Bike components and features
These features include handlebar shape, brake type, bike suspension, wheel size, gears and bike frame materials. These components should function properly and should be able to meet your needs.
Bikes come in a variety of sizes and you should always choose one that fits you. Having the right bike will make sure that you enjoy cycling and will minimize possible bicycle accidents
2. Learning road rules
Traffic rules can vary depending on where you live. Different countries may have different road rules but there are those common in most countries. All cyclists are expected to abide by these rules. Many seniors tend to suffer from memory loss and may require help from those who they live with. They should have someone remind them of these rules when they go cycling. Some common road rules for cyclists are:
- Do not ride on the side walk – riding on the side walk may pose danger to those on foot as you could run over them. It also makes cyclists less visible to turning vehicles and this can easily cause a car-bicycle accidents.
- Obeying all traffic signals – all traffic signals should always be obeyed to prevent accidents.
- Riding in the same direction as the flow of traffic–Cyclists are required to ride in the same direction as motorists unless it is unsafe to do so.
- Yielding to other vehicles on the road or to pedestrians– Cyclists are expected to yield while approaching other cyclists, pedestrians or vehicles moving at a slower speed.
- Using hand signals–Cyclists are required to alert other road users of their intentions. This helps to keep them safe.
- Yielding before turning to either side of the road–This will help to prevent collision with other cyclists or vehicle.
- Wearing a helmet and proper clothing– Helmets prevent up to seventy four percent of head injuries in case a cyclist is involve in an accident. All cyclists should wear a good helmet that is in line with the set standards.
Characteristics of a good helmet include:
- The helmet should be brightly colored to make you get noticed easily by other road users.
- It should fit well and securely when the straps are fastened.
- The straps should not cover the ears and they should not be twisted.
- You should always replace the helmet if you notice any cracks, if the straps are worn out or if the helmet hits a hard surface.
- Wear bright coloured clothes to make it easy for other road users to notice you. Footwear should fully enclose the toes and feet. Cycling gloves help to protect your hands and prevent jarring
3. Choosing safer routes:
Choosing a safe route for cycling helps to protect you from unnecessary danger. A safe route is one that contains quieter streets, dedicated bike lanes and shared paths. Similarly, the road should have a low volume of traffic and the cars on the road should be moving at a slow speed.
Senior should always ensure that they incorporate safety tips every time they go cycling to prevent accidents and avoid extra costs on medical services which could rather be avoided and in turn improve the quality of their lives.
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