Bicyclists: Watch out for Potholes

Spring is the pothole season. While a car can typically avoid or drive over without too much damage, potholes can be a feat for bikes. As a bicyclist, you should know how to approach potholes on the road this season.

Take care of your bike

Cycling Weekly reminds us that the first step to safe riding in any situation is knowing that your bicycle is properly cared for. Make sure that your tires are inflated. Flat tires can pop or even dent your rim if you meet a pothole. If you are concerned about a particularly nasty road, you can always opt for a more heavy-duty option, like a mountain bike.

Be aware and prepared

As you ride, be sure to be extra aware of the road in front of you. Watch for divots and holes in the pavement and consider if you can ride through them or if there is room to avoid. It can be easy on a bicycle to move away from potholes but don’t necessarily make that your default. You also need to be aware of the traffic around you. If swerving to miss a pothole will put you too close to cars or pedestrians, it’s best to just ride through it.

Prepare for your ride by always wearing a helmet, especially when you are dealing with extra obstructions like potholes.

Stay relaxed

If you do end up going over a pothole, relax your body. This will help absorb some of the impacts and allow you to keep on riding. Drop your shoulders, bend your elbows and loosen your grip on your handlebars. While you should feel sturdy on your bike, tensing up can make it harder to remain in control.

If you notice a particularly nasty pothole, report it to your local authorities. Make sure that while you learn to ride around potholes, you are also staying aware of traffic around you.