National Bike Month: Cycling Safety

May is National Bike Month, which means riding to work, hitting up the trails, and cycling with the whole family. But before you hop in the saddle to celebrate, we wanted discuss the importance of bike safety. We spoke with Garmin Ambassador Adam Bullard (@pedalinpain) to talk all things cycling. Bullard has been biking for over 5 years after deciding he wanted to take up a hobby once snowboarding season ended. He has completed the Deathride, a road race in Tahoe, which is 125 miles and 15,000 feet of climbing. Then, he rode the Belgium Waffle Ride, a 145 mile race with 13,000 feet of climbing. He has been hooked ever since.

Helmets: “If I don’t have a helmet on, I won’t get on my bike,” said Bullard. “Helmets have saved my life at least 3 times so far, one being airlifted out of a canyon when totally knocked out.” Bullard stressed it’s important to have a helmet that proper fits you. Wearing a loose helmet can defeat the purpose. “Bottom line, helmet is a must!”

Pre-Ride Check: Before a ride, Bullard checks the pressure in psi (per square inch) in his tires. He checks the wear on the break pads, and makes sure the wheels are on tight. “I always like when my gears work smoothly, so I like my chain. Not only does it make the gears work smoother, but adds like to your chain, chain ring and cassette.’’

Lights: “A lot of my rides are in the dark, so I make sure that all my lights are charging overnight. I use a front light; a rear blinking light and I attach another to my helmet for an extra precaution. You can never be too safe. It’s important to be noticed, especially with so many people occupied with their phones or other devices.” Bullard uses Varia bike lights that easily snap on under an Edge mount.

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Rearview Radar: “The Garmin Varia Rearview Radar is not only a rear flashing light, but tells you when vehicles are approaching by communicating with your Garmin Edge device. No more being surprised by cars approaching you while on switchbacks, remote roads or busy highways. This item is a must for those who ride the road!”

Cars: “I think another thing that will keep you safe, is never assume all cars obey traffic laws, always ride defensively. Also don’t take chances; it’s just not worth it.”

“I always enjoy riding in the morning because I feel the burn in my legs for the remainder of the day. Sometimes, especially in Los Angeles, you can get places faster on a bike,” said Bullard. “Not only do you save money with the gas prices that they are now, but riding will lead you to a healthier lifestyle, which in many cases makes one more confident and happier.”