Many people live in Florida and enjoy spending time there. It’s a state that often features nice weather, and there are attractions and shopping opportunities. Others like the many fine dining establishments and the hundreds of beaches, some open to the public.
Others like riding bikes in Florida, and that can be a lot of fun too if you can find a safe place to do it. You can also burn some calories that way and stay in shape. Individuals of all ages ride bikes in Florida, including retirees looking to keep fit.
There are some dangers if you decide to ride your bike in Florida, though. In fact, Florida is the deadliest state for bike riders. More than 800 bikers die in Florida yearly.
Let’s talk about ways you can stay safe if you’re going to ride your bike in Florida.
Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet if you’re going bike riding in Florida is the first and probably most basic thing you need to do. It doesn’t cost very much for you to buy a helmet. Once you have one, there is no reason why you cannot wear it every time you go out for a bike ride, even a short one around the block.
You should get in the habit of wearing a helmet, just the way you wear a seatbelt every time you get in the car. If it becomes second nature to you, then if a car hits you and knocks you off your bike, the helmet makes it much less likely you will sustain a concussion or a more severe traumatic brain injury.
Stay on Quiet Back Streets
It’s also helpful if you’re going on a bike ride in Florida to stay off main streets and highways. On the highway, there is no lane where it’s safe to ride your bike, and you can’t safely ride along the shoulder, either.
If you live in a pretty quiet neighborhood where there is not much traffic, that is ideal for bike riding. If you don’t live in that sort of neighborhood, you might put your bike in the back of your car and drive somewhere quiet where there are not many cars about.
A public park would be an ideal place for you to ride your bike. There are plenty of them in Florida, so locate one near you and explore it on your bike.
Wear Reflective Gear
You can also buy reflective gear that you can wear on your bike rides. There are shirts, shorts, and shoes with reflective materials or logos that will catch a driver’s eye if they are coming up close to you when you’re bike riding.
You can buy those clothing articles on Amazon or on other online websites. You might also find them in specialty stores sometimes. Some stores where you can purchase bike helmets and pads also sell reflective gear.
You might get reflective decals and put them on your bike. Some of them clip onto your bike easily, and they make you much more visible to the average driver.
Wear Additional Pads
You can also look into getting some additional pads besides your bike helmet. There are knee and elbow pads that you can get for when you’re riding, and you can also get protective vests or jackets that feature padding.
You might feel a little bit odd if you leave the house looking like a crash test dummy every time you go for a bike ride. However, if a car hits you, you will feel a lot better if you have knee pads, elbow pads, and additional protection besides just your helmet.
Don’t Ride Around at Night
It’s definitely best if you can avoid riding your bike around at night. In Florida, it can be very hot during the daytime, but that’s a time when you will be most visible on your bike.
You might decide to ride right after the sun comes up when it is not scorching hot yet. You can also ride right before sunset when the air is starting to cool down.
You can avoid riding after dark because then, it’s hard for drivers to see you, even if you have reflective gear on. You’d hope that drivers will pay attention to bikers on the streets, but you’re risking a lot if you ride around after the sun is down.
Follow these tips, and you can stay safe as a Florida resident or visitor.