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Bicycle Safety for Seniors

author image Teresa Bergen
Teresa Bergen writes about fitness, health, yoga, travel and the arts. She is the author of "Vegetarian Asia Travel Guide" and has written hundreds of articles for publications online and off. Bergen also teaches yoga, spinning and group fitness classes, and is an ACE-certified personal trainer.
Bicycle Safety for Seniors
Biking is a low-impact exercise. Photo Credit: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Biking can be fun exercise and good transportation for people of all ages. But seniors have a few extra factors to consider beyond basic bike safety. As you age, the body inevitably declines. Balance gets shakier. Strength may decrease. Vision slowly deteriorates, especially in the dark. If you’ve been biking for a long time, you may notice these changes in your rides. If you’re new to biking, clear your exercise regimen with your doctor first, then take extra safety precautions.

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A Comfortable Ride

Some seniors prefer the back support of a recumbent bike. If you want to keep riding a regular, upright bike, be sure the seat is comfortable. You might prefer a wider, more padded seat than a 20-year-old. Seniors whose balance is getting shaky can try riding a three-wheeled bike.

Increase Your Caution

Maybe as a younger rider, you zipped in and out of traffic, rode for many hours and didn’t think twice about road conditions. But as vision decreases and bones are more brittle, practicing caution can equal longer cycling longevity. You might want to limit your riding to daytime hours with good weather. Choosing separated bike paths rather than riding in traffic is also safer. Visit your eye doctor regularly and wear your glasses when riding, if appropriate. If it becomes difficult to maintain your own bike, take it to a bike shop for tune-ups and safety checks.

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