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Tips for enjoying a family bike ride

If you're like many Americans, you're likely looking for ways to have fun while being more active with your family. This is especially true as you continue to stay home and follow social distancing guidelines. Dusting off your bikes and taking a ride around the neighborhood or the local park (if it's not too crowded) is a perfect way to get out of the house, enjoy the fresh air and get in some much-needed physical activity.

But before you take a ride, make sure you follow these important safety tips:

  • Give your bike a once-over. If you haven't used your bike recently, inspect it to make sure it's safe to ride. Test your brakes, chain, handlebars and tire pressure. The proper psi is listed on the sidewall of your tires so you'll know how much pressure should be in your tires.
  • Wear a helmet. A helmet can save your life if you fall off your bike. Not only should you wear one every time you ride, but make sure the straps fit snugly under your chin and the helmet rests securely right above your eyebrows. Don't think you can skip the helmet just because you're not going too far or too fast. A fall can happen at any time.
  • Have a bite. Don't go for a bike ride on an empty stomach but don't fill up too much. Choose a mix of protein and carbs to keep you going. Drink some water and bring some along for the ride to stay hydrated if it's warm or you'll be out for a while.
  • Warm-up. Just as with any type of physical activity, your muscles and heart need time to warm up and adjust to your activity. Pedal slowly until you feel like your body is ready to get the gears in motion.
  • Be aware. Pay attention to your surroundings, including moving vehicles, bumps in the road and any obstacle that can cause you to lose control of your bike. Go out and have fun but make safety your top priority.

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Date Last Reviewed: March 18, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS
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