We’re big fans of biking here at Blue Sky MD. Whether on the road or trail, biking is it a great form of exercise. Trail riding allows you to explore our beautiful mountain trails (many of which are just right for beginners) and take in their grandeur from a different perspective. With so many trails to check out in WNC, we love that biking can be enjoyed on your own, with friends or the entire family. Even if you’re not an off-road kind of person, you can explore your neighborhood, bike to dinner or work, or check out some of the paved trails at our parks.
May is National Bike Month and we encourage you to hop on your bike and hit the road…or trail. If you are new to biking, check out our bike tips below.
Check Your Equipment
- Before you hop on your bike, make sure you have a helmet that fits properly. A bicycle helmet is a must, even for short rides. To find out if your helmet fits correctly, click here.
- Adjust your seat. When standing over your bike, there should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top bar if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended.
- Before riding, make sure your tires have enough air and that your brakes are working. Keep chains clean and lubricated.
Rules of the Road
- Avoid road hazards that could cause a crash like potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. If you are riding with others, be sure to point these out to them as well.
- Wear bright colors like neon or florescent so that drivers will be sure to see you. If you are biking in dim light, consider wearing reflective tape or a flashing light.
- Go with traffic, ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles.
- A bike is a vehicle and you’re the driver. When riding in the street, you must obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings as if you were in a car.
- Avoid riding at night when it is harder for motorists to see you.
- Refrain from wearing headphones when biking. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations.
- Check both ways before turning and always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making the turn.
- If you are riding in a residential area, watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
- Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times on your route.
- Wear protective eyewear that will reduce glare from the sun, and protect your eyes from small debris that might kick up as well as stray tree branches.
- Know your fitness level, the trail length and difficulty. Ride within your own abilities and trust your instincts. If you are questioning something you’re doing or about to do, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
- Let someone else know route before you head out on the trail. Bring a map, compass or GPS unit with you on new trail rides and don’t forget your phone in case you get lost.
- Never ride beyond your control. Don’t be embarrassed to walk your bike in areas of the trail that you don’t feel comfortable in riding.
- Keep your speed under control so that you can adjust quickly to obstacles or changes in the trail.
- Carry a first aid kit.