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10 Tips about Bicycle Safety & Laws

Learn about bike safety and laws from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video.


Okay, so we're going to talk about a little bit about bike safety. Bike safety is really important because you can get to really high speeds on a bicycle. Even at low speeds you can get pretty injured. The best thing to do is of course keep your bike in working order, taking it in for a tune-up, making sure if you an issue with your bike like your brakes are squeaking or your wheels are out of true, bring it in and have it serviced.

A couple things with New York City especially, is that you want to make sure you have reflectors, front and rear. That you have working lights, both front and rear, white on the front and red on the rear just like a car. You can get a substantial fine if you do not have them at night, so, basically from dusk to dawn. With lights you have a bunch of different options. Most light go for anywhere from usually $8 on up. They can go very, very expensive depending on how bright they are, what they're made out of, all those types of things. Basically, for the city you're not going to want a light that's going to necessary illuminate your path. You just want light where you are going to be seen by cars and pedestrians and other cyclist. A light like this basically flashes, it's nice and bright, it's US (?) rechargeable so if you do a lot of riding at night you can get this and save a lot of money on batteries, which is really nice to have in your backpack all the time just in case you're out and it gets dark. The rear one is basically exactly the same. It's going to be blinking or you can keep it steady. It's better to keep in blinking so people can see you in the city. So, that those lights.

Another way to be safe is to just to wear the proper clothing and equipment, so make sure you have a rain jacket with you if it's going to be raining that day . Make sure you've got fenders on you bike if you're going to riding in the rain or if you're going to be riding on a winters day where there's like slush and snow and things like that, so you won't get wet and cold and get sick.

Also a lot people don't like to wear helmets but definitely helmets can help keep you safe. You want to make sure you can take two fingers and put them above you eye brow and that's how low the helmet would be. You don't want far back like that because then you're going to lose your short term memory and you also don't want to have it on backwards. With the strap you want to make sure it's fastened correctly and that you can put two fingers underneath the strap. This one's a little bit loose, so I'll tighten it up. You just don't want it too tight and you don't want it too loose because if you hit the ground you don't want our helmet flying off. That's basically how you wear a helmet properly. So, with bicycle helmets, they are made for one crash. If you have an accident or you have a collision with your helmet on you want to make sure to replace it because it fractures kind of like the front end of a car. It supposed to create less of an impact on your actual head, so make sure replace those and also if your helmet is over three years old it needs to be replace because the foam that it's made out of breaks down after three years and it's pretty much useless if you have it on.

Something else you want to look out for when you're in the city, is you want to make sure that you're looking for doors that are going to swing open. That can be really, really dangerous and has caused some fatalities and many, many injuries. Drivers and also passengers of cars just don't realize that they're throwing their doors open and can potentially injure you very badly.

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