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5 tips to remember when cycling

Biking is a popular pastime in Spokane, Washington. The city is beautiful and there are many trails and places you can reach by bicycle. Whether for exercise, leisure or commute, it is important to remember that while biking is fun, there are risks as well.

An unfortunate statistic, cycling accidents accounted for over 18,000 individual injuries  or deaths. The number could be even greater, as not every cyclist reports his or her accident. One of the biggest dangers for cyclists are the vehicles they share the road with. To stay as safe as you can, remember these five tips when you go on your next bike ride.

1. Prepare yourself before you head out: Before riding to your destination, make sure your bike is in working condition, you are wearing proper attire and know where you are going.

2. Cycle with traffic: Often, more inexperienced bikers will feel safer if they are facing toward oncoming traffic, thinking that it will be easier to ride if they can see the traffic that is surrounding them. However, this has the opposite effect and ends up causing more collisions. Riding with traffic may help you stay safe as a cyclist.

3. Use hand signals: Using hand signals while riding can help individuals driving motor-vehicles anticipate your movements. Many crashes occur when a car does not know that a cyclist is turning or switching lanes and ends up crashing into them.

4. Obey traffic laws: When you are cycling on the street, you must obey the same traffic laws as a car. Stop at stop signs and stop lights to avoid colliding with traffic.

5. Wear reflective clothing: Especially when you are riding at night, but also when you are riding in the day, wearing reflective clothing will help you stay visible to cars.

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