Bike Safety Tips – What You Need to Know
In honor of National Bike Month, we’ve compiled the best tips to keep you safe on your bike this summer in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Whether your biking long distances or on a leisurely afternoon ride, staying safe on the road is a top priority, here are the top bike safety tips!
Wear a Helmet
You’re probably tired of hearing this but it’s an important one. In the event of a crash a helmet can prevent you from having a serious concussion. Here’s some tips from Bike League on getting the perfect helmet fit:
- The front of the helmet should be level and two-fingers width above your eyebrows.
- Shake your head from side to side: There should only be a little movement.
- The side straps should come to a point just below your ears – move the small tabs on the side of these straps up or down until they are a half an inch or less under your ear lobe.
- The chin strap should be about half an inch below your chin when your mouth is closed. Wearing a bike helmet with loose straps is the same as not wearing a helmet at all.
Beware of Closures
Before you head out look at the route you’ll be taking to ensure you’ll have access to trails. It’s always a good idea to check Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s website for any emergency alerts. Currently the Towpath is closed between the Boston Store Visitor Center & Interstate 271 Bridge; and between Hunt House and Deep Lock Quarry. There is NO way around these closures. For updates on closures and re-openings, click here.
Share the Trail
Be courteous and respect all trail users. Yield to slower users and obey all rules of the trail that are posted.
Announce when you are passing by using a bell, horn or your voice to indicate your intention to pass. Warn others well in advance as to not startle them. For more information, watch this video from Bike League here.
Sometimes things are fun when there’s an element of surprise, but not necessarily when it comes to biking on a path with lots of people. Travel in a straight line unless you are avoiding hazards or passing. Always indicate your intention to turn or pass.
Yield When Crossing
You may have the right of way but that doesn’t mean cars will automatically stop. Some drivers may be distracted so be sure to yield to traffic at places where the trail crosses the road. Also yield to other users at trail intersections. Everyone yields to horses. Horses can be startled by sudden movements, so use caution. Make sure the rider knows in advance that you are passing.
Do Not Block the Trail
For group rides be sure that you are not taking up more than half of the trail. If you must regroup with people be sure to stop and make your way completely off the trail. Also, do not stop on blind spots such as hills or curves where people may have a hard time seeing you.
Keep Right, Pass on the Left
Stay as close to the right as possible, except when passing. Pull out of the right lane only when you are sure the lane is clear. Allow plenty of room when passing on the left, about two bike lengths in front of the person you are passing, before moving back to the right.
If you are ever in need of emergency assistance call 911. In addition, to keep the park safe for you and others report suspicious activity to Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Communication Center at 440-546-5945.
Now that you’ll be the safest rider on the trail, it’s time to head outside! Grab your helmet, strap on your sneakers, and head over to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to enjoy the ride.