Riding your bike more now that it’s getting warmer? You’re helping slow climate change and getting in shape while getting your groceries. Recents studies show that people who switch to bike commuting loose an average of 18 lbs in the first year. The keeping fit part is only useful as long as you don’t get mushed in the process. Dusting off the helmet is a one part of keeping safe on your bike.
Avoiding getting hit is arguably as important. Bicyclesafe’s concise, clear, and sometimes amusing, primer on How Not To Get Hit By Cars makes the case for keeping upright. It also gives you diagrams and strategies for safely sharing the road.
Dress for success, layer because it’s colder going downhill. Figure out how you are going to get the groceries back. If you have a rack bring bungees. An old milk crate or other sturdy box can help keep your purchases off the ground. Remember that thing that hang from your handlebars can get stuck in the spokes and throw you over the handle bars. (Personal experience talking here!)
Think about bike lights front and back. They are especially useful at dawn and twilight when everyone thinks they can see you and actually, mostly they can’t.
Go one more step in your community. Some progressive municipalities are calming traffic and creating safe cycling and walking paths by simple lane reduction. Hastings on Hudson’s Mayor Peter Swiderskiand the village’s brilliant conservation commision increased local transportaion opportunities with a few gallons of road paint. Their bike lanes were in use less than an hour after the paint dried. The paths link parts of the community formerly confined to cars to village’s downtown expanding the local business district, allowing residents to walk to the farmers’ market, library, and schools.