We’re kicking off National Bike Month with a little safety refresher! If you’re like most Long Beach Islanders, you’re probably finally brushing away the cobwebs on that bike of yours in preparation for the season ahead. But before your wheels touch ground, be sure to familiarize yourself with the basic bike safety tips we’ve outlined below.
1. Perform a Bike Maintenance Check
After that winter hiatus, it’s imperative you give your bike a once-over to ensure everything is in tip-top shape. At Shore Brake Cyclery, we offer a full menu of maintenance and repair services that range from tire pressure checks and brake adjustments, to shift cable replacements and cleanings. With the help of our certified mechanics, your bike will be ride-ready in no time.
2. Wear a Helmet
Protect your noggin! Wearing a helmet is one of the easiest (and most important) safety measures you can take before embarking on a bike ride. At Shore Brake, we carry a variety of top-of-the-line brands (like Bell and Bontrager) that optimize safety, durability and comfort.
3. Be Alert
This goes without saying, but try to be as alert as possible when biking! Forgo phone usage and be on the lookout for poor road conditions: loose gravel, sand, puddles, and other potential hazards.
4. Wear Bright Clothing
Remember to wear bright (preferably neon) clothing on your evening cruises. Invest in cycling wear with special reflective features to help you stand out in cloudy or dark conditions. At Shore Brake, we carry neon jerseys from Bontrager and can work with you to special-order additional apparel that we don’t stock in-store!
5. Install Rear View Mirrors
While you should make a habit of looking behind you before making turns, added bike and helmet mirrors will provide an extra layer of vision for busy street cycling. One of our favorites that we keep in stock is the Mirrycle Mirror, a 3 inch round, adjustable mirror with a wide field of view!
6. Keep at Least One hand on the Handlebars
Reserve “hands-free” biking for quiet residential roads! When operating your bicycle on bustling roadways (like the Blvd. on a busy Saturday), keep at least one hand on your handlebars at all times. This will optimize your balance and allow you to brake faster in case of emergency.
7. Explore Bike-Specific Paths
Avoid busy fairways and opt for bike-friendly paths! Check out our blog on the Top 5 Places to Bike to on LBI for some of our favorite cycling destinations on Long Beach Island.
8. Stay Hydrated
Bicycling recommends drinking enough water to match the intensity of your exercise and the current weather conditions. Stop by Shore Brake to peruse our line of bottle cages!
9. Ride with a Buddy
Two bikers is better (and more visible) than one. Additionally, if something should happen to you while biking, your companion will be present to seek emergency services.
10. Know the Bike Safety Laws in Your State
Whether you’re a year-round resident or summertime visitor, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with bike safety laws in New Jersey. For example, in addition to obeying traffic signals, a rider must be equipped with a headlamp, rear light and an audible signal (like a bell) when operating a bicycle. For more local standards, check out our blog Rules for Biking on LBI: Know the Rules of the Road.