Summer is a great time to be out and about! It is sunny and warm, and there is so much to do. Whether you’re looking to get around in a fun new way or simply eager for some exercise, biking can be a great summer activity for all ages. You may want to take a leisurely ride along your community bikeway, get some fresh air on your way to work or kick it up a gear and hit the mountain trails.
Here are some easy tips to help you stay safe on your bike and just enjoy the ride:
- Biking can be quite the cardiovascular workout, so make sure to stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks.
- Don’t forget to apply and reapply sunblock (even on seemingly cloudy days).
- Wherever possible, stick to designated bike trails, community pathways or bike lanes.
- If you need to bike beside cars and trucks on a street, make sure you travel in the same direction as the rest of the vehicular traffic.
- Remember to stop at red lights and stop signs and to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
And most importantly, always remember to wear your helmet. As Deborah Sullivan, Injury Prevention Coordinator for Trauma Services at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center reminds us, this is of the utmost importance in order to prevent potentially serious injuries. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that wearing a bike helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 85 percent and reduce your risk of brain injury by 88 percent.
Additionally, Deborah notes that helmets should be properly sized and fitted. Check with your Lahey Health pediatrician’s office to see if your child might be able to purchase and be fitted for a helmet there. For added safety, wear bright colors and remember not to wear earplugs or headphones when riding.
So pull out the bikes, scooter, and skateboards from the back of the garage; make sure they’re in good repair for the season; keep these safety tips in mind; and then let the good times roll!