Safety Tips for Bike the Bay
Pedal to Safety With These 3 Tips for Bike the Bay
Bike the Bay is coming to San Diego on Sunday, August 28th and is an outdoor activity that San Diegans won’t want to miss! Bike the Bay is a non-competitive, 25-mile course that starts and ends at Embarcadero Marina Park. The best part about this event is that it showcases some of the most idyllic scenery along the San Diego marinas in combination with moderate exercise and fresh air.
Get those tires filled and helmets fitted for this fun annual event. Check out our top 3 biking safety tips to maximize your family’s experience while biking the bay!
1. Protect Your Melon, Always Wear a Helmet
This bike safety tip is a no-brainer (pun intended). Bike the Bay requires that all participants wear a helmet, and for good reason. Bike helmets are the easiest way to prevent head injuries while riding a bike. Head injuries can lead to brain injuries, which can be fatal.
- Get a properly fitted helmet that does not move around on your head. It should stay level, cover your forehead, and not tip off to the side while you are wearing it.
- The straps should always stay fastened and slightly snug so that you don’t lose your helmet when you need it most.
- If you fall hard on your helmet, replace it. They do not protect your head as effectively after a crash.
- Wear a helmet that passes U.S. Government safety standards. It will have a sticker that says it meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
2. Drink Up! Stay Hydrated While Biking
It’s been a hot summer in San Diego, and August is usually the hottest month of the year. Staying hydrated is key for any activity, but requires even more effort when you are outside in the sun. Fortunately, Bike the Bay has you and your family covered. In addition to your entry, Bike the Bay registration also includes fully supported rest stops with snacks and drinks as well as a Klean Kanteen stainless water bottle—pretty awesome!
- Don’t overdo it. If you are having trouble breathing or feel your muscles cramping, take a break, cool off and get hydrated. This isn’t a race, so don’t ruin the fun by pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion.
- Drink plenty of fluids BEFORE your bike ride. It’s much easier to stay hydrated if you start hydrated. It takes longer to catch up on fluids and recover when your body is already depleted.
- Hydrate DURING your bike ride. Continue to drink water as you are biking so that you replace fluids as they are lost, rather than waiting until the end of the ride when your body is already dehydrated. Take advantage of the rest stops provided by Bike the Bay, and bring a water bottle to carry on your bike.
3. Stay in Marked Bike Lanes and Follow Traffic Guidelines
Most of the Bike the Bay route follows dedicated bike paths along the marinas. However, there are some spots where bikers will be sharing the lanes with traffic. Keep your kids safe and out of harm’s way by following these tips:
- If your bike breaks down or you get a flat tire, pull out of the bike lane away from traffic to a safe location. Do not stay where you can get hit by oncoming bikes or cars.
- Always follow traffic guidelines and stay as far to the right of lanes as possible. Even though you are on a bike, you are required to follow all traffic rules in the same way a car would. This is true for stop signs, crossings, etc. and keeps everyone safely moving in the same traffic patterns.
- One of the coolest, and (if you’re afraid of heights) most terrifying features of the Bike the Bay route is the trip over the Coronado Bay Bridge. This is the only time of the year that some of the traffic lanes close and bikes are allowed on the bridge. If your kids are afraid of heights or find themselves intimidated while biking on the bridge, have them move to the far right of the lanes and walk their bikes.
We hope these tips help prepare you and your family to put your pedal to the metal and bike your way to a memorable experience along some of the most scenic routes in San Diego!
If you or your child has specific needs or struggles during moderate activity, contact your Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups doctor. They can work with you to put together a plan that will meet your active family’s health needs!