You may have to be a die hard cyclist to be out in the bitter cold that we are experiencing in the start of February, but fear not the temperatures will rise. For those that like to participate in Bike To Work Month in February it can be hit or miss whether a ride to work is really something that makes sense or not. The frigid temperatures that can come when the calendar turns to the shortest month of the year can be daunting to ride in, but as we are in a weird weather pattern, this year you may be in luck.
In the next few days, temperatures are expected to rebound into the low 50s, which is unheard of in February, but cyclists will know just how to take advantage of the winter thaw. The good news is that according to data collected by the National Safety Council, February is the month that when bicycle accidents happen, fatalities are at their lowest. It stands to reason that February is one of the safest months to be out riding your bike. Even though the month is relatively safe for cyclists, there are some things you can do to make sure that when you are riding your bike you are safe and free from getting into a New Haven bicycle accident.
First, you can make sure your bike is prepared for winter riding. Depending on the style of your bike, this may mean you will want to change out your tires to winter tires so you can ride safely across all types of terrain. When you’re riding in the spring and summer months you may want tires that are going to be good for speed and agility, but in the winter months, when conditions can change quickly, you will likely want a set of tires that can grip the road a little better and do well on snow and ice so you can stay upright while you ride to work. The other thing you will want to make certain of is that you have reflectors in place on your bike. You may find yourself riding in nighttime conditions and if that is the case the reflectors on your bike will keep you visible and you won’t have to worry about being seen by cars who you are sharing the road with after dark.
Second, make sure you have prepared and are carrying an emergency roadside kit. In the winter months it is more likely that your chain will dry out and get kinked up or your tires will get cold and spring a leak, that is why it is so important that you bring the appropriate materials and tools with you on your bike ride. Many cyclists will ride with a little pouch attached to their seat in the event that an emergency occurs while they are out for a ride. This kit often includes things like a spare tire tube that could replace on that pops while riding, a set of allan wrenches which will help fix any minor repairs that come up while on your bike and you may want to include in your kit a mini tire pump so that if your tire doesn’t pop, but it gets low on air you are prepared to fill it.
Third, you will want to make sure you remain hydrated throughout your ride. It is easy to remember to drink water when you are out riding and the weather is warm, but when the weather is cold and you are bundled up it can be tricky to remember to keep yourself hydrated. Staying hydrated while riding your bike is a critical way to keep yourself safe. If you are not drinking enough water you may become weak and lose focus which could lead to serious problems especially if the road conditions aren’t perfect where you are riding. You should always have a full water bottle before you leave your location and venture out to your destination. If you need to stop to fill up your water bottle you should find a place along your route where you can consistently fill up so you are never without the right amount of water.
When you make the decision you are going to participate in Bike To Work Month there are a lot of things to consider, but taking the above into account before you hit the road can help you stay safe and avoid a New Haven bicycle accident. We want you to enjoy your ride and make it to your destination safely (and so does your boss.) Make sure you are taking all of the necessary precautions you can take to keep yourself safe on the road.
It doesn’t matter if you’re riding in February or June, if you get into an accident and end up being injured you may need to speak with an attorney about your situation. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will work with you to protect your long-term interests.