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101 Critical Days of Summer: Strap on safety before bike rides

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Bicycling is a very popular activity during warm weather.

Although there are no hard statistics on the actual number of riders, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports their surveys show approximately 57 million people, 27.3 percent of the population age 16 or older, rode a bicycle at least once during the summer in 2002. With the cost of gas skyrocketing, among other factors, this number is sure to have grown in the past decade.

So, how sure are you about your bicycle readiness? Have you checked to see what maintenance is needed? How about your helmet -- any cracks or worn straps? These are only a couple of the risk management/hazard mitigation actions you should take before you get on your bike for the first time in the summer season.

As you can see from the table on the right, the number of fatalities has declined, but the percent of fatalities has increased. Refer to http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov /Pubs/811624.pdf for the details.
For more information about bicycle safety, visit:

· http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles
· http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/bicycle-safety/
· http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/bike-blog/2011/jun/23/bike-blog-avoid-injury
· http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/facts/crash-facts.cfm
· http://www.trafficsafety.org/category/safety/sharing/bike