The Habits of Being Safe

author : TeamMPI
comments : 0

As the weather warms up, it’s time to get your bike ready for riding outside. So let’s discuss what’s important from the time you pull your bike out until the time you park it after a ride.

As the weather warms up, it’s time to take the trainer tire off and get your bike ready for riding outside. For many athletes, this annual ritual begins a series of repeatable habits that will continue throughout the riding season. But for those who have only been riding for a short time, it’s likely that these habits are still forming. So let’s discuss what’s important from the time you pull your bike out until the time you park it after a ride.

Pre-Ride Habit Patterns
  1. Always pump the tires up. Even if you just did the day before, this simple act allows you to gauge any slow leak.
     
  2. Inspect the tires. Notice any major gashes? If so, you may have to replace it.
     
  3. Ensure the wheels are secure and aligned to the frame. For those triathlon bikes with rear wheel “rear” dropout, it’s actually quite easy to have a “crooked” wheel that is touching or rubbing the frame (at the chain stay). View both wheels to see if any spokes seem bent.
     
  4. Check your pedals. Make sure they spin freely. If not, they may need some lube.
     
  5. Inspect your seat. It is still in the correct alignment, height and angle?
     
  6. Check your bike’s front end. Put weight on the hoods and move back and forth to ensure the bars are securely attached and don’t slide.
     
  7. Check the brakes. Squeeze the brake levers a few times while trying to roll the bike. Do they need to be tightened? Look at the pads - are they worn down and need to be replaced?
     
  8. Check that any additional attachments to the bike are secure. These can be bike computers, lights, cadence, speed and power sensors, nutrition pouches and flat kit bag.
     
  9. Inspect your helmet. Ensure that there are no cracks – if so, replace. Put on your helmet and adjust the strap ensuring it’s snug, but not too tight. 
     
  10. Gear. Last but not least, check out those old shorts you’ve been wearing – if you can see the slightest skin through them, others behind you can see more. Replace!
And how about a quick review on safety and rules of the road:
  1. Ensure that you follow all traffic signs and lights. In fact, review your state laws for cycling once a year. You can find those easily on your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website.
     
  2. Always signal turns and bike in the appropriate turn lane.
     
  3. Bike in the bike lane at all times unless a hazard on the road prevents you from doing so. If no bike lane, be familiar with the traffic loads and decide on whether it’s safe to ride there at that time.
     
  4. Check the weather
     
  5. Utilize both a front (white) and at least one rear (red) light if you will be riding in dawn, dusk, fog or rain. If you’re unsure, use them. 
     
  6. Wear sunglasses – if dark outside, put on clear lenses. This is to ensure you protect your eyes!
     
  7. If performing any bike maintenance or tire repair, ensure that you are safely off the road
     
  8. Always let someone know where you are going. There are some great apps out there that you can utilize on your mobile phone such as Road ID’s app.
     
  9. Never roll up on another rider and “suck” on their wheel without letting them know – this is very dangerous and also poor etiquette.
     
  10. Say “hi” and smile to other riders out there! And if someone is on the side of the road and off their bike, ask if they need assistance. We’re all in this together!

Enjoy riding out there! Be safe and get in the habit of being safe!


Mark Sortino

Mark Sortino is a USA Triathlon Level II Coach, USA Cycling Level II Coach, F.I.S.T. certified bike fitter and certified USAT Race Director who has been the Head Coach of Team USA Paratriathlon since 2012. Mark has coached National and World Champion ITU Paratriathletes along with Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championship qualifiers. Additionally Mark has been the head coach for all of the USA Paratriathlon High Performance Camps. Mark is a 16-Ironman and 3-time Kona finisher and is the co-founder and CEO of Team MPI (Multisport Performance Institute) - a triathlon company providing a diverse spectrum of services designed for beginner to elite level triathletes through individual coaching, camps, clinics and event production. Mark can be reached via email at mark@teamMPI.com. Learn more at www.TeamMPI.com

Rating

Click on star to vote
4395 Total Views  |  40 Views last 30 days  |  10 Views last 7 days
date: April 23, 2015

TeamMPI

MPI services include coaching, single & multi-day tri camps, clinics, swim video analysis, tri swim programs, bike fitting & more!

avatarTeamMPI

MPI services include coaching, single & multi-day tri camps, clinics, swim video analysis, tri swim programs, bike fitting & more!

View all 10 articles