bike helmet for bike safety May 2023
Feature Articles

Safety first for cyclists

By Lara Maxwell

May is National Bicycle Month, which often means more cyclists on the road With participation up, safety and awareness should be a priority with both drivers and cyclists sharing the road. 

The Falcon Fire Protection District offers a bicycle safety program, “Bike Rodeo,” which they bring to local schools. Lt. Dave Hawkins said they typically run these programs toward the end of the school year. Schools can schedule the program through the public education point of contact, Lt. Nick Koory. 

The program offers several different stations for demonstrating and learning different skills on a bike, as well as educating kids on the importance of wearing a helmet. 

Hawkins said for the helmet demonstration, they will use a Jell-O mold shaped like a brain. “Flight for Life brought a Jell-O mold. They drop one without a helmet and drop one with a helmet, and it represents how much more protected your brain is,” Hawkins said. “As adults, you forget what it feels like to fall because you’re better at riding. Helmets protect the most vital part of your body. You can thrive if you break your arm or even lose it; whereas, if you have one accident without a helmet and you cause a brain injury, it will drastically change your lifestyle.”

Another station at Bike Rodeo is the Obstacles Avoidance station. “It’s a big square filled with random things, and kids go through the square. The goal is to avoid the obstacles on the ground,” Hawkins said.

The Figure Eight station is a looped path with a stop sign. At the cross of the figure eight, riders stop and look for traffic as they would at a street crossing. The Straight Line Station allows riders to practice riding as straight as possible. “There are lines on the ground, and we use the bus line dividers. The goal is to keep your wheel on the line,” Hawkins said.

On the road, rider predictability plays a large part in safety. If a rider swerves unpredictably in and out of traffic, it increases the risk of a crash. 

Bike Rodeo also has a General Maintenance station. The goal is to provide general maintenance skills. “Is my chain on correctly? How do I put air in the tires? Just general knowledge of the bicycle,” Hawkins said. 

There is a short list of things riders can keep in mind to help stay safe on the road. “In cycling, the three things we talk about are the ABCs,” said Rodney Vance, a Trek store manager. “‘A’ stands for “light Always on.” Any time someone is riding a bike, the lights should be on. Lights have a variety of settings to help with visibility during different parts of the day. 

“‘B’ is Bio-motion. This covers any moving part of the body,” Vance said. “You want to highlight those in bright colors, so areas like our knees, our feet, our head, our elbows, and our hands.

“‘C’ which is Contrast, is contrasting any of the colors in the natural environment.” If it’s Colorado at midday, stay away from blues or grays as those will blend in with the environment. “A color like red may contrast more with the current environment we are in so that awareness is pulled more toward the body,” Vance said.

Drivers can do their part to help keep cyclists safe. Cyclists obey the same traffic laws as cars, and drivers of cars should treat cyclists as they would any other vehicle — allowing a right of way and yielding where appropriate. 

Another danger for cyclists is having a car door opened directly in front of them as they ride. The National Safety Council has a simple suggestion for preventing this. Their website states, “The far hand reach, or Dutch reach, is a simple technique that will stop you and your passengers from opening your vehicle door in front of an oncoming vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian. This works for streets, sidewalks and parking lots.” When drivers and passengers open doors, they should use the hand farthest from the door. This turns their bodies so they are put into position to look in the rearview mirror, checking to see if there are any oncoming cars or cyclists. Once traffic has passed, slowly open the door with caution.

The Bike League has published a guide for Bike Month, with tips on planning a bike event within the community, as well as safety information, and is available at 

Pull quote: “Helmets protect the most vital part of your body. You can thrive if you break your arm or even lose it; whereas, if you have one accident without a helmet and you cause a brain injury, it will drastically change your lifestyle.”

Lt. Dave Hawkins

bike helmet for bike safety May 2023

Helmets caption: These helmets show the damage that occurs from a bicycle fall; it’s better to have a dented helmet than a dented head.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers