Many living in the Bay Area during the Covid-19 crisis have turned to biking as a way to commute and exercise distantly. Although San Francisco authorities have created a relatively bike-friendly environment by expanding many bike lanes, having the right safety equipment on the road is as important now as it ever was. Recently, a range of products have emerged, from a tricycle for adults to a helmet mounted mirror, that can help you stay safe as you navigate the hills of San Francisco.
1. Wear a Helmet
If you are thinking about trading your bus or BART commute for a bike route, a good helmet should be the first thing on your shopping list. Helmets can prevent light falls from causing serious head injuries, and can protect the skull from fractures during more forceful impacts. While an increase in the volume of cyclists in the city is good for both the environment and Covid-19 transmission rates, it also means that bike collisions are more likely. Protect yourself accordingly.
2. Get a Reliable Bike for the City
Whether you bike for exercise, recreation, or commuting, the bike you choose will determine your speed, safety, and comfort for countless hours of riding. While road bikes are optimized for speed, cruiser bikes and cruiser hybrids are often superior city bikes for comfort and situational awareness in stop-and-go traffic. The best choice will always depend on your personal preference, but you should carefully consider the features that best suit your needs before making a purchase.
3. Use a Mirror
Mirrors are an essential safety accessory for biking in the city. You may think you can rely on your hearing to detect cars and trucks preparing to pass you on the road, however, a post-tech boom increase in both quiet vehicles and noisy San Francisco roadways suggests otherwise. A mirror can’t replace good situational awareness, but it can alert you to potential threats on the road before turning or switching lanes. Bike mirrors come in a variety of forms to address different visibility concerns. Wide angle mirrors, for example, can give you a broader view behind you, while helmet mirrors provide a relatively stable, adjustable picture.
4. Get Rid of Excess Stress
Quarantining yourself and your family at home may be safe in the short term, but it can easily lead to stress and relationship strain that is as hazardous to your health as any other ailment. Why not grab a men’s or women’s cruiser bike and go for a ride near your home or on any of San Francisco’s unrivaled bike trails? Giving yourself the fresh air and exercise of a great ride outdoors is among the best things you can do to stay safe and healthy during a stressful time.
Biking is a great way to avoid crows and get yourself outdoors during an international pandemic. The rules of social distancing, of course, still apply to cyclists. If you find that you are coming into close proximity with pedestrians or other bikers, wear a mask until you are alone or with only members of your household. Be safe, and do your part.