Inspiring a lifestyle of fitness, fun, & friendship
When in doubt... pedal it out!

Tips for staying safe on your bike
Whether you're a seasoned cyclist with the latest top-of-the-line gear and own a race bike worth more than some cars, or you're riding a fixie with less moving parts to worry about, one thing remains consistent, we share a common thread, a passion for this crazy sport. Team rides, solo excursions, the deep woods, the open road, bike path, or going rouge off the beaten path you will find us amongst the rest of the world.  
We wear bright performance gear, heart monitors, tracking devices, use music for motivation, or don simple stripped down gear. Our passion runs deep and is reliable as the gears we shift. Our bikes are an extension of who we are and our personality. Sometimes we even name them as if they were our child (mine is Ophelia).  
As the momentum of biking seems to be on an uptick, so does something else, something we have to encounter every day, every ride, every minute, It often shifts our attention from obtaining record speeds, splits or simply enjoying the scenery around us. I'm talking about distracted drivers. The past ten years of statistics are alarming, the fatalities and injuries to cyclists are increasing like wildfire. Nobody is immune.  
While I was on my bike the other day for a long ride it occurred to me that it honestly doesn't matter how expensive my lights are, how bright my jersey is, if I have the best Giro MIPS helmet, I am at the mercy of distracted drivers every time I get on my bike, but that doesn't mean these things are not important.  
As a mom of three little boys, I often wonder if I'm playing with fire when I go out alone. I can't even count how many times a vehicle was within inches to my bike, the times I've been forced off the road by an inattentive driver, the times people have actually honked their horns behind me as if I didn't have a right to be there. As if I was inconveniencing them in some way. I imagine it to be much like a self-defense class, but instead of a protective body armor, I simply wear a cycling jersey...3,000 pounds of steel vs my lightweight Trek.  
The odds don't seem to be in my favor, yet I don't hesitate to get my bike day after day. I look forward to it, anticipate and plan my route, watch the weather closely at my desk job. I love how the air feels in my lungs, I love the peanut butter toast I'll treat myself to after my ride. I'll do it again tomorrow.

Change up your route
We are creatures of habit, we drive on autopilot sometimes to our work, school, the store, the same is true when we get on our bike. Map out a new route, challenge yourself, or create a challenge with you and your friends virtually.  Not only does your body adapt to the same route forcing you into a plateau but you go the through dangerous motions of unawareness that only habits create. Most importantly, tell someone you love where you're planning on riding. You can see your friend's live in-route rides with some apps which is a key safety feature. Invest in a Road ID , a comfortable sports ID bracelet with essential information. These can be personalized to include just about anything.

Light it up!
This goes for both day and dusk rides. Bicycle Doctor carries a complete line of high-quality lights with different price points, interruptive flash patterns, lumens, visibility modes, and more.
I love the Bontrager lights which feature a compact discreet design while the Quick Connect bracket offers simple removal for recharging via the included USB cable. Proof that big things come in small packages.

Wear High Visibility Gear
As the days become shorter it's more important than ever to be more visible to drivers. Wear bright clothing both during the day and night. A cyclist without lights or reflective clothing is near invisible to drivers. While we need to be aware of distracted drivers we as cyclists also have a responsibility to be visible to drivers. Be mindful of what you put on before you head out. I am a fan of the Bontrager  Vella Stormshell Jacket which  is perfect for cooler weather, is weather resistant, lightweight, breathable, and has temperature regulation without adding a ton of bulk. It comes in bright yellow, pink, and orange.

Invest in a Quality Helmet
If you are not wearing a helmet while riding I will judge you. Hard. A high-quality helmet could mean the difference between life and death, it's that simple and that serious. We don't think twice about spending our cash on a night out, yet question the price of a device that could save your life if struck by a vehicle. Protect your melon. If you haven't heard of MIPS technology you should, MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It is described as a "slip-plane" technology. This works inside the helmet and is designed to reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. There are a lot of options on the market in different price points.

We navigate the roads and traffic with confidence, we know ourselves and our ability well enough to know if we can safely cross a busy road within mere feet of a vehicle so we are not forced to halt our momentum. In large cities, I am always in awe of the cyclists who dodge in and out of traffic in all weather conditions like it's no big deal. This ability sometimes takes years to master and often erroneously pegs us as arrogant.  
The truth is, it's naive to go out for a ride without at least partly thinking defensively. While you are confident in your own ability, it only takes someone to glance down at their phone for a split second for something irreversible to happen. I don't want to be afraid anymore and I sure as hell don't want to send a message of fear to my son's that might deter them from this amazing sport. My chosen sport.
We all start our journey at different stages of our lives and there are many unwritten do's and don'ts many of us (especially me) have learned along the way. Sometimes the hard way. There are umpteen ways to stay safe on the road, making sure your bike is in proper road-ready condition, avoiding headphones, being aware of your surroundings, staying off your phone, not riding at speeds you haven't been conditioned to, staying out of blind spots, using hand signals, I could go on and on, and these are just the basis.  
The most important thing is to continue the love affair of our sport while having fun, improving ourselves, becoming more confident. I'm riding today, how about you? Cheers to all the cyclists out there, you are my people.  

Jody Mayers                                                            
I am a proud cycling mommy of three high-energy boys, and my beautiful family lives in Oconomowoc. Cycling has become my "mommy-time" and I'm lucky enough to have a husband who supports my healthy habit.  I try to commute on my bike to work when I can as a professional blogger and editor for an amazing Digital Marketing Agency in Hartland, Guarantee Digital. I have a passion for this sport and continue to try to push my limits and ability during all seasons. Bicycle Doctor sold me my Trek bike, an upgrade after riding fixies for years.  I have been an obsessed and loyal client ever since. This shop emulates the core of what this sport is all about. Providing cyclists with the highest-quality safety gear, bikes and professional knowledgeable staff available and we are lucky to have it in our backyard!
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