Bicycling around the Bay Area is not only great exercise, it is also an effective way to commute. Whether you ride your bike for fun or out of necessity, you must realize that cycling can be dangerous. After all, because motor vehicles are significantly larger and heavier than your bike, your chances of sustaining a serious injury in a collision with one are not exactly minor.
According to a recent study, around 60% of cyclists reportedly experience some type of distraction while riding their bikes. As you know, if you do not focus on the road, path or trail in front of your bike, you may not be able to arrive at your destination safely. Here are five cycling distractions you should both understand and try to avoid:
When you ride, your bike does not offer much in the way of protection from rain, fog, heat and other types of weather. While there is nothing inherently wrong with riding during inclement conditions, you do not want to let weather distract you. You also must realize how moisture affects your bike’s tires and other systems.
Even though your smartphone keeps you connected with friends, family members and coworkers, you should not use it when on your bike. Sending a text message or taking a phone call puts you in danger. Therefore, ride to a safe place before reaching for your smartphone.
Unfortunately, not all motorists drive responsibly. When trying to avoid a collision with a distracted, drunk or reckless motorist, you may have a tough time watching for other riding hazards.
4. Road conditions
Stop signs, merge lanes, potholes and other road conditions can be tough to manage. Still, you do not want to divert your attention. Accordingly, before you set out on your bike, plan your route. Put simply, by riding in familiar areas, you know what to expect.
5. Mechanical problems
If your bike is in tip-top shape, you probably do not have to worry about having mechanical issues on your ride. Nonetheless, a slipping chain, low tire or other problems may move your focus from the road to your bicycle. To stay safe, never skip routine maintenance. If your bike has an issue, you should probably park it until you have time for a repair.
Even though bicycle accidents happen, you probably do not have to give up on your love of cycling. By avoiding common riding distractions, you enjoy your ride while reaching your destination without incident.