These days, more and more Denverites are choosing to get around by bike. With the 27 miles of expanded bikeways that the Northwest Community Transportation Network is bringing to our neighborhoods, residents will have even more opportunities to enjoy riding. With that, we wanted to offer some helpful hints to stay safe, protect your bike, and have fun.
Most people recognize that helmets are a must, but here are a few more items that can make your travel by bike safer:
- Bells – Give your neighbors time to react calmly to your passing by ringing your bell from a distance and then again, as you get closer.
- Lights – They’re the law, but they also keep you visible. Some riders even use them during the day! Take care to point your light slightly downward to avoid blinding your neighbors driving while remaining seen.
- General Visibility – Use outdoor gear with reflective accents. To see what you should wear on your bike, check your closet with a flashlight.
If you are leaving your bike, be sure to lock it up. Bike theft in Denver is up 23%, so here are a few tips to ensure your bike remains yours.
- The cable locks that are often easiest to use are unfortunately also the easiest for thieves to defeat. Consider a u-lock or bike-specific chain if you are leaving your bike for more than a quick cup of coffee.
- When locking up, try to find someplace away from car and foot traffic, and be sure to get your lock through the frame and wheels, if possible. Stolen wheels and other accessories are common, so there are a number of security products available if you don’t want to carry your seat with you.
- If you ride to school or work and can’t bring your bike inside, try switching your parking spot periodically. Leaving your bike in the same place day after day can make it a more appealing target.
- Lock your bike in your garage or bring it in the house. More and more bikes are being stolen from garages these days.
- Register your bike with the police. Although it won’t stop your bike from being stolen, it does make it easier for police to return it to you, if found. Extra credit: Put a note inside the frame under the seat post with that registration number.
- Photograph your bike and make sure your insurance company knows how much it’s worth. Make sure they apply its replacement value to calculate what they will pay should it get stolen.
Let’s Bike Safely, North Denver!