With our beautiful bike trails, miles of open roads, short commute distances, and abundance of bike shops, it’s no surprise that Central Oregon is a destination for bicycle enthusiasts. Bruises and minor cuts are the leading types of injuries involving bicycles, followed by fractures, muscle strains, and sprains. The most common cycling injuries that orthopedic surgeons treat include broken collar bones and wrists. Here are some tips on how to make sure you are being safe while using this form of transportation!

Wearing a properly-fitted helmet could reduce your risk of brain injury by up to 45 percent. The helmet should be positioned level on the head so that the forehead is covered within two finger widths of the eyebrow. The buckle should be centered under the chin and no more than two fingers should fit under the strap. 

Avoid high traffic roads and ride defensively. Whenever possible, choose routes that include streets with bike lanes. Cars often do not see cyclists, so it is very important to be aware of your surroundings, including parked cars, cars that are switching lanes, and those making turns. Always choose wider streets when possible and ride on the right side of the road.

Make sure to maintain your bicycle. Always check technical components just like you would with your vehicle. This will help avoid dangerous situations if something were to go wrong. If it is not in good condition, you should not ride it.

Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.

Lastly, dress appropriately. Avoid loose clothing and always wear closed toed shoes. Wear padded gloves and/or shorts if necessary for longer rides. Carry belongings in a close fitting backpack to avoid any dangling straps that could interfere with riding.