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What can bicyclists can do to make bike riding safer?

Bicyclists who want to enjoy the beautiful California weather should not have to worry about ending up in a hospital due to a serious traffic accident. One of the keys to safe bike riding is to maintain full control of the bicycle and not allow an unexpected problem to suddenly cause a bike riding disaster. Fortunately, you can take simple steps before you mount your bike that can help make your next bike ride safer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that what you put on can affect your bike ride. Loose pant legs, for instance, can get snagged in bike chains, which is partly why you see many bike riders wearing shorts. If you still prefer to wear long pants, tuck your pant legs into your socks to lessen chain jamming risks. Additionally, your shoelaces might get caught in your bicycle chain if they are not tied up. If you are not confident you can ride with laced shoes, try shoes with Velcro instead. 

Also, consider the size of your bike. If your bicycle is too cumbersome to turn or slow down, you might have chosen a bike that is too big for you. With the varied sizes of bikes on the market, there should be one that fits your size and level of strength more easily than the bike you are using.

You can also take time to plan out your bike route. If you are going to share the road with automobiles, choose streets that do not have a lot of traffic and require vehicles to drive at slower speeds. A neighborhood street would be preferable to a three lane thoroughfare that runs past stores and fast food restaurants. You can also use your phone to look for the current state of traffic on nearby roads. If the traffic is too heavy, you can plot a different route.

Also be aware that if you are not confident in your ability to handle traffic, you do not have to ride on a road with cars. Take a look around to see if nearby streets have bike paths. You could also opt to ride your bike in a park that permits bike riders.

Keep in mind that this article is written to provide information on how you can navigate California roads more safely on your bike and does not give you any legal advice.

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