As spring comes to a close and we move on to summer, COVID-19 is still effecting how we are able to move within our communities. However, it has also positively changed how we exercise, get around town and sometimes if we are mindful of what we need, use it as a great stress reliever from our worlds being turned upside down. Join us as we dive deeper into the core elements of biking safely, pandemic or not.
As more of us continue to get back out on the road we need to make sure our gear, especially that which we dug deep out of storage, is doing the most to help keep up safe. Here are some great questions to ask about your gear to make sure it’s protecting you in all the right ways.
1. Does your helmet still fit, and I mean really fit your head?
Many of us may have grown out new quarantine hairstyles or had a few years between helmets so make sure that no matter what’s going on upstairs, your helmet is still doing what’s needed to protect you. If your head is headed for the ground you need to ensure your helmet fits your head and hair, uses the proper materials, and is adjusted accordingly.
Here are some tips to ensure you have the right fit:
The front edge should be no more than 1 inch above your eyebrows. With the straps done, push up firmly on the front edge of the helmet. If it moves back, the straps are too loose.
Push the helmet side to side and front to back: It should be snug enough that the motion wrinkles the skin at your temples.
A ponytail or man bun can alter your fit, so make sure to test a helmet wearing the same hairstyle you ride with and have today. Pre-COVID cuts don’t cut it if you’ve changed your style.
Be sure to test that a buckled chin strap is tight enough. To know for sure, open your mouth halfway. The helmet should press down on the top of your head as you do.
The front and back helmet straps should make a V shape that meets just below and forward of the ear.
Grab the back tip of the helmet and try to pull it up over the top of your head to the front. If the front of your helmet slips down, shorten the back straps and repeat the initial test. Easy as that.
If you're looking for more resources on bike helmet safety look here: (More on Proper Helmet Safety, How to Find Your Fit)
2. How old is your helmet?
If you can’t remember, then you are in for a reality check. Advances in material design, shock impact, and even shock detection have really come a long way. There are helmets across the sports industry that measure the impact of a hit or even alert others of a crash. Even if that sounds way too futuristic for you, consider this: 100% of your movement, meaning control, balance, and decision making is controlled by, you guessed it, your brain. So protect your melon and check out some current helmets that are breaking the mold and leading the industry in safety. (Our Available Gear)
3. How well are you seen from the road?
How well you’re seen from the road comes down to a combination of how reflective your lights are, how bright your gear is, and how high contrast you appear to passersby. The biggest reason that you will be seen is that the brain of the vehicle operator finds you distinctive enough to distinguish from the rest of the road. Our brain is designed principally to process things quickly and help us survive.
Many people aren’t truly aware of what gets the attention of our brains. Motion is the #1 reason that humans are still alive today. It’s our number one survival technique and a key concept to understand when it comes to safety on the road. Don’t believe me? Next time you are streaming on Disney+ look up Brain Games, Season 2 Episode 3, "Motion Commotion" and you will see how your eyes and brain work together to interpret motion.
4. Are you thinking of your whole body when it comes to safety?
Of course, there’s more than just your head to consider when it comes to Biking Safety 101. Follow our blog series on protecting the “entire you” while biking. We’ll dig into visibility when it comes to outfits and fitting your bike with appropriate lighting. We’ll also dive into other topics such as skin protection, how to properly prepare your body, and what wearable safety gear is best for you.
Your safety on the road is our priority. Come and visit us to chat more about how to be as safe as possible as you cruise, skate, scoot, jump, descend, climb or simply use your bike to sustainably run your errands. Whatever your biking style and purpose, Louisville Cyclery is proud to serve you in our 40th year of operations. (Meet Our Staff)
Find Your Fit
Visit our experts to find the best fit at our store. (Visit Us)