Survive Outdoors visitors will not find bicycle safety as
relating to rules of the road addressed here. For those interested
in information regarding riding bikes in urban areas, please
go to your nearest DMV, where you can pick up a free copy
of Rules of the Road for Bicyclists.
Below are some basic, as we like to call them, “no-brainers”
in bicycle safety:
- Make sure there is air in the tires of your bicycle.
- Make sure that all working parts are well oiled, and
screws and bolts are tightened down.
- Make sure all spokes are intact.
- Make sure the seat is comfortable and the right height,
and that the bicycle handlebars are not loose.
- When biking in the back country, or riding trails at
your local forest preserves, make sure you have a water
bottle with you, especially in case you have an accident
and find yourself injured and unable to walk. Please refer
to the Survive Outdoor section on Getting Lost and Getting
Found for more information on survival techniques.
Children and adults alike should wear elbow and knee pads,
as when falling off a bike, these are the sites that are frequently
injured. Since the skin does not provide much padding in those
locations, fractures and dislocations are very common. Elbow
and kneepads are definitely beneficial from a safety standpoint,
saving in potential hospital bills down the road. Although
somewhat uncomfortable, it is certainly worth the precaution.
Bicycle Helmet Safety
In many states, the law requires the use of bicycle helmets.
However there are some states that do not require helmets,
which is quite surprising to Survive Outdoors. A few statistics
from www.bhsi.org, an excellent website, that addresses bicycle
helmet safety in much more detail than we have here:
- Approximately 1:8 bicycle accidents result in brain injuries.
- Approximately 800 people per year die from bicycle accidents.
- Of the 540,000 bicycle accidents seen in the emergency
room, 67,000 of those are head injuries.
A helmet is of minimal cost compared to the cost of a bicycle,
but can help tremendously in preventing most head injuries.
Of course, a small head laceration sustained by a cyclist
wearing a helmet can be repaired quite easily when compared
to intra-cranial bleeding sustained by a cyclist without a
Many individuals believe that accidents only happen to the
“other guy.” Subsequently, a major attitude shift
must occur with regard to wearing helmets, and the best way
for this to occur is by educating the public with regard to
bicycle safety issues.