The experts at Summit Orthopedics provide a cycling tips QUICKGuide to help prevent injuries and stay safe during the sport.
Play by the rules and assume others won’t
Cyclists are responsible to abide by the same rules of the road as motorists, including giving pedestrians right of way, following traffic signals, riding on the right side of the road, and signaling turns. Motorists are supposed to share the road. However, the best approach is often a defensive one – where you anticipate that the drivers around you don’t know their responsibilities toward you as a cyclist and ride with extra caution.
Helmets are a no-brainer
Although stats are normally glossed over, here’s one to consider: a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%. Fit matters when it comes to helmets; it should sit flat on the top of your head, not tilted forward or back. Use the two finger rule to ensure snug fit and right position: no more than two fingers should fit in the space between the eyebrows and the front of the helmet and no more than two fingers should fit between the chin strap and chin. The helmet straps should also form a “V” over the ears.
Don’t blend in
This is one place where attracting attention is a good thing. You want to stand out – this means bright colored clothing, or even choosing a helmet that has some personality to it. With so many distractions vying for drivers’ attention, you want motorists to see you on the road. If you feel like you are on a remix from the 80’s wearing neon, the good news is bright colors and neon are back and a hot trend in fashion. Fashion as injury prevention, who knew?
For the love of feet
Many cyclists deal with tingling or numbness in their feet. The culprit is often shoes that are too narrow or tight. As we are talking about feet, cleat position and shoe orthotics (inserts) can be of benefit depending on your foot’s shape.
Keep a light for night
If there aren’t enough daylight hours for you to ride, whether it’s work or family responsibilities, and you need to get your exercise in the evening, it’s more important than ever to be seen. Use a front light and a reflector/flashing rear light. If you can, wear reflective clothing and choose a helmet with reflectors on it. Even if you are on a bike path, these lights help other cyclists or runners see you coming.
Bike fit is essential
There are so many variables in bike fit that can make you pre-disposed for back, neck, knee, hamstring and strain all over. If you are experiencing pain or want to avoid injury, seriously consider getting your bike adjusted by a trained professional to better fit you. If you are buying a new bike, go somewhere that can make sure the frame and fit is right for your body.
Check out our Family Fun Cycling Guide for more great tips and recommended Minnesota trails.
Learn more about Summit’s Cycling Program and personalized cycling evaluations.
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Winning the helmet battle Although kids rarely pay attention to statistics, here’s one as a parent you’ll want to know: a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%. We know it can be a challenge to get kids to wear helmets,… Read More.