Biking is one of the best forms of exercise that you can choose to engage with. Apart from being able to move your entire body and work on your heart and blood circulation, you even get to enjoy a scenic view while riding. However, biking can also prove to be dangerous because of the risks that you may need to face while on the road. This article lists down some of the things that you need to do before hopping on a bike to increase your safety.
Prepare your mind
One of the primary things that you need to do before hopping on a bike is to prepare your mind. In this way, you will be able to focus on riding, as well as on the road you are traversing, even if you are sharing it with other vehicles. When you ride in busy streets, there will always be a risk of encountering car or bus accidents brought about by distracted riding. These accidents or road mishaps can prove to be fatal.
To prepare yourself mentally, take a minute to think through the current state of your bike, your body, and your mind to set your intention. This will dictate how you will ride, as well as what you can get from it. Apart from a more enriching riding experience, you will be safer on the road as well.
Make sure you are physically strong
Another thing that you need to do before hopping on a bike is to make sure that you are physically strong. In this case, you must first know the state of your body because, for instance, lack of sleep can make you feel drowsy, affecting how you ride. In this case, make sure that you have ample rest before riding your bike.
Alongside this, you should also take the time to do some stretches before hopping on your bike. Leg swings should be included in your pre-bike stretches because this can increase your hip mobility. You can also perform the cat-cow stretch to enhance your glutes, making them more flexible. This will also tend to warm up the muscles around your spine. Even doing a simple heel-toe walk to warm up your calves can help with your ankle flexibility.
Some of the other warm-up stretches that you can do before you hop on your bike include foam rolling to warm up your muscles, as well as chest stretches that can also target your back and legs. There is also the option for you to do a dynamic runners’ lunge that targets your quads, hip flexors, and hamstrings or do butt kicks and high knees to warm up your entire body, preparing you for the best ride.
Ensure your bike is in its best condition
Apart from mental and physical strength, you also need to take time to ensure that your bike is in its best condition. In this case, your tire pressure should be appropriate to decrease the chances of a puncture. When it comes to your quick-release levers, get into the habit of opening and closing them before your ride to ensure that they are tight and closed to the frame. After all, these levers hold your wheels onto your bike.
You also have to make sure that the brakes of your bike are working properly. In this case, the calipers and brake pads should squeeze each side of your bike’s wheel evenly when you apply the handbrake. Even your headset, or the part of your bike responsible for the rotation of the fork and the head tube of the frame, should be inspected. It should be tight because otherwise, its bolt may need some adjustment. Finally, you should also check the shifter feel during your gear changes.
Familiarize yourself with the road
Before you hop on your bike, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the road that you will be traveling on. This means that you need to take the time to prepare and plan your route. In this way, you will be more focused on the other factors that can affect your ride, rather than on thinking which way you should go. As much as possible, you should also check whether there are road closures or repairs that may entail the need for you to take a different route.
Wear the appropriate clothes
In riding a bike, you need to wear the appropriate clothes to ensure that you will stay comfortable even during a long bike ride. For this reason, it is a good idea to check the weather condition before you ride. In this way, you will be able to plan whether you need to wear something that will protect you from the rain or the heat of the sun. Just keep in mind that regardless of the weather, you should always wear your helmet because this will reduce your risk of experiencing a fatal injury should you come across an accident. You should also consider wearing clothes in layers, as well as those that will not interfere with the way you ride.
Don’t forget your supplies
Lastly, don’t forget to bring your supplies with you such as your water bottle to keep you hydrated. It is also a good idea to have a couple of energy bars with you because you will never know when a quick ride can turn into a long one. You should also ensure that you have a spare tube and tire levers with you, as well as a pump because this will guarantee that you won’t be stranded on the road.
Before hopping on a bike, make sure that you are mentally and physically prepared. In parallel to this, even your bike must be in its best condition. You should also familiarize yourself with the road that you will be traveling on and wear the appropriate biking clothes. Don’t forget to bring the supplies that you need such as your water bottle as well. All these are geared towards ensuring a safe and enjoyable bike ride each time you hop on your two-wheeler.