6 Ways to Keep Yourself Safe During Your Fall Bike Ride

Late October has come to Pennsylvania:

There are pumpkins on the doorstep, the leaves are changing color, and the air is getting crisp. It’s a great time for a bike ride.

fall-biking_316923671Bicycling is the perfect way to enjoy fall foliage, but cooler temperatures and shorter days can affect your ride. Here are six tips to help you stay safe while biking this fall.

  1. Check your lights. The sun is setting earlier, so you are more likely to be out riding after dark. Pennsylvania law requires that all bicyclists have amber reflectors on each side of the bike and a red reflector on the bike’s rear. Bicycles must also be equipped with a front white light with a visibility range of 500 feet. Fall is a good time to check the batteries on your lights and to add additional lighting if needed. Flashing LEDs are inexpensive and will make your bike more visible.
  2. Don’t forget about glare. The sun’s position in the sky is lower in the fall. This means that drivers headed west must deal with sun glare during the evening commute. Use extra caution when riding on westbound roads; never assume that a driver can see you.
  3. Check your tire pressure. As the air temperature drops, the air molecules in your tires slow down their movements causing a drop in air pressure. Check your air pressure before every ride and inflate your tires when necessary.
  4. Wipe and lubricate your chains. Damp weather can cause your chain to rust. Preventative maintenance will protect your bike and keep it in safe operating condition.
  5. Prepare for the weather. It isn’t unusual for a beautiful fall day to suddenly turn stormy or for the temperature to dramatically drop over the course of a day. Check the weather before your bike ride. Carry a rain poncho and extra layers in your bag.
  6. Watch for leaves. Fallen leaves can cover potholes and other dangers. They also turn slippery when wet. Avoid leaves when possible. If you must ride through a pile of leaves, slow down.

These tips can help you stay safe, but even the safest bike rider is vulnerable to reckless drivers. If you or your child was injured in a bicycle crash caused by a negligent driver, Petrelli Law can help. Our Philadelphia accident attorneys are bicyclists, and we fight to help bicycle accident victims get the accountability they deserve. Call 215-309-4034 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.