Just like riding a bike!

Biking is a sport enjoyed by casual riders and avid enthusiasts alike. Bikes are an eco-friendly mode of transportation and a great way to get active outside. As more and more people hit the trails with their friends and family, it becomes necessary to be aware of the risks of biking and how to stay safe while enjoying our beautiful city.

What kind of Injuries can happen while biking?

Biking injuries can result from many different factors, such as motor vehicle accidents, environmental hazards such as rocks and tree roots, and rider factors such as speed, distance, and fitness level. These injuries can be classified into acute and overuse type injuries.

Acute traumatic Injuries

Acute traumatic injuries to cyclists include superficial injuries such as road rash and lacerations, and deeper injuries to bone or muscle such as fractures and muscle strains. These injuries can occur to areas of the body including the head, face, extremities, abdomen, and the skin. Cycling also poses the risk of concussions and damage to internal organs. These injuries occur as a result of a collision or fall, often including a severe blow to one or many areas of the body.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries are the most common in cyclists who ride their bikes frequently. Pain in the neck and back often results from the cyclist’s upper body position while biking. Consistent pressure on the wrists and arms can cause problems, as well as prolonged time on the bike saddle. Issues can arise such as tenderness, weakness, and skin chafing. Improper saddle position and long bike rides can cause hip pain or knee problems.

Overuse injuries can be avoided by making sure the bicycle is the correct size and is adjusted properly for the cyclist. Some important measures to pay attention to are:

  • the frame size
  • saddle height
  • handlebar height and width
  • and positioning the foot on the pedal.

How to protect yourself on a bike?

The most important piece of protective equipment to wear while cycling is a helmet. Helmets significantly reduce the likelihood of concussions and other head injuries, which can be fatal. When a helmet is worn correctly, it fits comfortably but tightly on the head and the straps hold the helmet in place. Helmet fitting is essential for proper protection.

Other pieces of protective equipment worn by cyclists include gloves, goggles, reflective clothing, padded clothing, and proper shoes. Proper fit and function of the bike itself is also important. Be sure to check your brakes and tires, and get your bike tuned at least once a year.

Making sure you make safe decisions on your bike is one of the best ways to avoid an injury. Behavioural strategies can mean staying in control of your speed, avoiding areas of high car traffic, taking the weather and environment into consideration, and wearing protective equipment.

Biking is a great way to get outside and enjoy the summer season. North Vancouver and the surrounding area is home to many road and off-road bicycle trails which are enjoyed by a large population of cyclists. Cycling is a popular way to get around or to get a workout. Riding safely is the best way to make sure you enjoy your bicycle to the fullest.

For more information, check out this article or please reach out to us if there is anything we can help you with!