South Florida’s bike culture is growing. Tourists and locals enjoy the sites of our beautiful city on their bicycles–no longer is Miami cycling limited to a few aficionados on their speed bikes in Key Biscayne. However, whether it’s a leisurely ride or a race to the finish, cyclists should take heed of a few precautions when venturing out.
A head game: Although traditional cycling cities like Hong Kong and Amsterdam skip the helmet, realize that Miamians are still getting used to the influx of bike traffic. Both roads and drivers are not always bike friendly. Therefore, we suggest you get a helmet. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent, according to www.bhsi.org. Most fatal cycling accidents involve a head injury, so don’t forget to protect the noggin.
Common sense says: Stick to your lane and don’t forget to signal. Even if you wear a helmet and follow the rule of law, nothing will keep you safer than avoiding an unwanted collision. Stick to your lane but not too far to the right to avoid anyone that may be opening a car door.
If they can see you, they can’t hurt you: Drivers are looking to the center of the lane to spot the movement of cars. If you are too far right they may not spot you easily. Make sure you are visible, especially at night. Use a headlight and a rear light too. Helmet lights work best when you are looking directly at the driver to make your presence known.