Bike sharing may be having a few growing pains in California, what with Los Angeles’s proposed system facing a series of delays, but some parts of the state have been able to move forward with their plans. Anaheim has begun its own initiative and San Francisco is set to roll out a program next month. With the trend taking shape across the state, we thought we’d relate some safety tips from doctors in New York, where the CitiBike program has posted early success.
Because bikes are essentially rented, many bike share users fail to put on adequate head protection. This is a mistake. Whether on a rented or owned bike, a helmet must be affixed to avoid serious head injury. In addition, MP3 players and cellphones need to be put away so there are no distractions and that potential hazards can be recognized.
Some bike share users also might not be wearing the right clothing. Sandals can easily slip or get caught, and a sudden movement could cause them to fall off. Loose clothes are another inadvisable idea due to their propensity to get caught in bicycle parts and cause a painful fall.
Before heading out on a newly obtained bike, riders should make sure the unit is set up for their body size. Seats should be brought up to hip level when standing next to the bike. This simple step can prevent joint fatigue and any ensuing pain.