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National Bike Safety Month is here!

Why bike?

Considering the old adage “it’s as easy as riding a bike” has been said for decades, the general knowledge of riding a bike appears to be universal.  If you don’t know how to ride a bike yet, it’s never too late to learn! Why should you? Well, the benefits of riding a bike are truly endless:

  • It is a multipurpose workout, cycling works more then just your legs, but your core and arms as well

  • Cycling improves your strength and flexibility, toning you muscles as you have fun

  • Riding on two wheels helps with coordination and balance

  • Biking, like most physical activity, improves mental health!

  • Improves the environment, helping cut your carbon footprint

  • Saves you money— less gas used is less gas bought!

The American Heart Association recommends an average of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise to increase heart health. Aerobic or “cardio” focused workouts are any activity that increases your heart rate in a moderate way, for example “cycling slower than 10 miles per hour” or going faster to increase intensity. An intense aerobic workout should be done for at least 75 minutes a week in replacement of the 150 minutes if that if that fits your lifestyle better.

Some benefits of cycling or other cardiovascular exercises include:

  • A lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and high blood pressure

  • Improves sleep schedule and cognition rate

  • Less weight gain and chronic illness symptoms

Biking safely on Long Island

When you hit the road on your bike, always remember that safety comes first! According to the Institute of Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), there were 727 total bicycle crashes in 2023 across both Nassau and Suffolk county, resulting in 9 fatalities. So far in 2024, we have had 13 reported bicycle crashes on Long Island, with no reported fatalities. As a community, our goal should be how to benefit our health while remaining safe, here are some tips to keep you safe on two wheels:

  • Always wear a helmet with the inclusion of a form of reflective gear if riding early or late when visibility might be low, bright colors always!

  • Safety in Numbers – try to ride in groups of two or more, especially with children

  •  Always signal with your arms if moving right or left, even if you do not see any vehicles

  • Be prepared and check your bike and gear before heading out, as well as biking on a pre-planned route or an area you’re familiar with

  • Ride with the traffic, not against and stay within the legal limits

  • Always follow the NYS laws in place to protect cyclists

NYS Bike Laws

There are many laws in place that are meant to protect cyclists on our shared roads, like Suffolk County’s three-foot law that made headlines in 2021. Check out the following resources for more information about the bike laws in NYS:

With the temperatures rising and summer right around the corner, let’s enjoy Bicycle Safety Month together and cycle safely!

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