Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of physical activity. While cycling is a great wayreduce your environmental footprint by commuting, it’s still possible to damage the environment while cycling if you’re not careful when you ride through parks. Here are some top tips you can keep in mind next time you’re cycling in a park to ensure that generations to come can always enjoy the outdoors on a bike.
Tip #1: Ride Clean
You should always wash off your bike after a ride and ensure there’s no mud stuck in your tracks. If your bike is covered in mud, it’s also likely covered in seeds from local plant life. If you don’t wash off your bike before traveling to the next park or trail you run the risk of transferring a different species of plant life from one region to another. This can wreak havoc on the local eco system!
Tip #2: Mind the Brakes
When you brake hard you’ll cut large divots into the ground, which will not only tear up plant life but also potentially cause erosion when it rains. It’s much better to ride a little slower than usual and use your brakes sparingly. This is especially true when you’re on a slope!
Tip #3: Stay on the Trail
This may seem self-explanatory, but you’ll always want to stay on a trail when you’re cycling in a park. Trails are there for a reason—they’re maintained every year so you can cycle safely without damaging any local flora. When you ride off of a trail you also run a higher risk of injuring yourself by traveling over uneven terrain.
Tip #4: Leave the Wildlife Alone
While it’s possible you’ll see nothing other than squirrels, you may come across larger critters when you’re cycling through a park. You may also see horseback riders on a trail. Animals can be easily startled by quick movement or loud noises, so be sure to give wildlife a safe distance for the welfare of the animal.
Tip #5: Yield to Hikers
Unless you’re on a cycling-only trail, you should always yield to walkers, hikers, or other travelers off a bicycle. You should also alert other trail users to your approach with a yell or a ding of your bell. You should also always stay in complete control of your bicycle and never be riding at a speed that’s too dangerous for your own skill and abilities.
Tip #6: Leave No Trace
You should never leave trash behind on a trail, even if it’s something that’s compostable. When you’re on the trail, consider picking up trash or fallen logs that are in the way so future cyclists can enjoy the ride. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
*This article was created by Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com,) an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally.