We've had some issues on rides that involve road or paved trails that involve bicycling safety so we wanted to share these tips with this group. Even though we do off road riding, these tips will no doubt come in handy in riding at some time. Accidents on bikes always result in an injury but we can minimize that injury by being wise about safety.
• Don’t take your speed for granted. The faster you go, the harder you fall.
• It is important to remember that there are more people behind you, so if one person has an accident, all the riders behind them go down too.
• Bikers have the same rights and responsibilities of vehicles. We must adhere to all lights and signs on the roadways and trails. This means we can get ticketed as well.
• Bikers ALWAYS yield to pedestrians and horses.
• Ride single file on the right – on the road and on trails.
• If you need to stop while on a trail, move off the trail to allow other cyclists to go by safely.
• Maintain a safe distance from the bike in front of you and NEVER overlap tires.
• When passing a pedestrian, gently call out (so you don’t startle), “passing on the left”. Avoid passing on the right. The person in the lead will inform pedestrians that we will be passing by saying “passing on your left – there are 6 bikes”. The last rider then informs the pedestrian that they are the last bike.
• If something happens during the ride that causes you to stop, inform another rider or call out that you need for the group to stop. Do not leave without letting someone know. Most organizers post their phone number when posting a ride. Enter this # into your phone before the ride in the event you have to separate on a ride and can’t inform another rider. We take these rides seriously and care about the riders and don’t want to leave anyone behind.
• Night riding can be very dangerous as there may be an oncoming rider without proper lighting that you don’t see or they can’t see you – be alert. Don’t forget you must always be looking at the ground ahead as there could be an object or a slippery surface.
• Arizona is a great state for bicycling and for the most part, cyclists are respected. We want to maintain this attitude by being respectful and courteous to drivers and pedestrians. However, there are times there are negative comments made to cyclists – Maintain your integrity and the groups’ - ignore it and move on.
• Because these rides are at night, it is imperative that you have a front and rear light. You can purchase these kits at any chain department store.
• Helmets are mandatory. None of us likes the look of helmet hair but the risk of injury is not worth the vanity. Gloves are a great idea as they protect your hands if you do fall.
• Your clothing should not be loose and it is dangerous to tie clothing around your waist or on your bike as it can get caught in your bike or the persons’ behind you. Acquire a backpack or seat bag to put gear in. Make a copy of your drivers license and put it in your backpack or seat bag with an emergency # on it.
• Always carry a spare inner tube or patch kit and a tire pump.
• Glasses – protect your eyes from the wind and bugs. Get a pair where the lenses are interchangeable so you can see in all light exposures.
NOW, GO OUT AND HAVE A GREAT RIDE!