A number of years ago I represented a 9 year old little girl brain injured and quadriplegic when she was struck by a van on a residential street while she was entering the road from her driveway on a bicycle. She was not wearing a helmet.
Several years later I represented the family of a doctor killed while riding his bike to work on a residential street when a van cut the corner knocking him to the ground. He was not wearing a helmet.
The most important safety rule for all bikers, young, old, skinny, large, athletic or not is to wear a helmet. It is true that bikers today all more likely to understand the importance of following this rule. Set a good example for your kids, other family members and friends and wear your helmet-please.
When you wear your helmet make sure that it is not too loose or too tight. Keep the helmet low on your forehead and inch above your eyebrows.
Once in a while you will see a biker wearing headphones and riding. This is not cool. Bike riders must be able to hear the sounds around them especially when sharing the road with cars and trucks.
Make sure your bike is a good fit. When you stand over your bike there should be one or two inches between you and the crossbar. The handlebars should be set at the same level as the seat and the seat should allow the full extension of the leg with the knees only slightly bent.
If available you should ride on the bike path but if you must ride on the road keep to the far right side of the road and ride in the same direction as the traffic.
Finally, wear bright colors and put reflectors on your bike to be easily seen. Never ride at night.
Biking can be great exercise and a lot of fun. Be careful out there and wear a helmet.