More bikes are hitting the trails and roads as area residents seek safe exercise and fresh air in the wake of COVID-19. To help our community prevent injury as they ride out the pandemic with cycling and mountain biking, sports medicine specialists Dr. Christopher Johnson and Dr. Ryan Plyler of Professional Orthopaedic Associates are sharing some safety tips. Patients in need of specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (732) 530-4949 to be seen by Dr. Johnson or Dr. Plyler in Tinton Falls at 776 Shrewsbury Ave., Suite 105; in Toms River at 1430 Hooper Ave., Suite 101; and in Freehold at 303 W. Main St. Telemedicine appointments are also available for remote consultations. For urgent needs, walk into Professional Orthopaedic Associates’ Walk-In Sports Medicine Clinic, available Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m.
“Biking is great for physical and mental health, so we certainly encourage this trend as COVID-19 continues,” says Dr. Johnson. “Because injury risk is always present for cyclists and mountain bikers of all levels, we wanted to share some rules and reminders for safety and general injury prevention.”
Follow these cycling safety tips from Professional Orthopaedic Associates to stay safe and avoid injury:
- What to wear: Do wear a helmet and be sure to buckle it. If mountain biking, do wear extra padding, gloves and specialized shoes. Do not wear loose clothing. Do not wear headphones.
- Be careful with your bike: Maintain the gears, chains and brakes. Use the right size of bike for you. Always carefully watch children biking. Do not ride distracted, and keep your bike lights on if riding at night.
- Where to ride: Only ride on trails that match your skill level. If a trail is new to you, watch out for drops and obstacles. Work up to more difficult trails, and stick to flatter areas if you're just starting out.
- Follow road rules: For riding on roads and streets, use bike lanes when you can, follow in the direction of traffic, take heed of traffic stops and lights and signal your turns. Always ride defensively.
- Be safe outside: Stay hydrated and wear sunblock appropriately. Do not ride in inclement weather, and avoid pushing yourself too hard so you are not compromised by exhaustion.
"On a bike, even the most skilled riders are at risk for injury," says Dr. Plyler. "If you fall on a ride and have bleeding that doesn't stop or hit your head, seek out emergency medical care. For musculoskeletal injuries, see an orthopedic specialist as soon as you can"
To learn more about orthopaedic safety or to schedule a safe appointment with Drs. Johnson or Plyler, call (732) 530-4949.