Bad cycling habits are easy to pick up and hard to break. We might know they are bad, but they can be convenient, more efficient and speed boosting. It is easy to rationalize and think that it’s not a big deal. But no matter the benefit, remember that it only takes a second for a bad habit to turn into a dangerous one. Here are some of the most common and dangerous cycling habits to avoid:

Hands-Free Riding

You might view this habit as a sign of prowess. When you really understand and your bike, riding without your hands is normal and effortless. Nine times out of ten, you will probably be okay. But it only takes one wrong move, a pot hole, or a rock to knock you off balance and send you into harmful spiral. And if you are riding on busy streets, a nasty spill can quickly turn into a deadly accident. You wouldn’t take your hands of a steering wheel, so don’t take them off your handlebars. Just take this cyclist as an example:

Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals

Bikes are vehicles. Because they are considered a roadworthy you must also obey all traffic signs and signals. We know it is easy to blow through a stoplight or stop sign and not think twice. “What’s the harm? If no cars are around.” But you never know. If you make it habit, it becomes and easier and easier to forget that the law is there for your safety. Cyclists are often hit in intersections and that can be avoided. If it is red, stop.

Not Wearing a Helmet

In Utah you are not legally required to wear a helmet. But it is one bad habit if you don’t. Someone pointed out to us once that, “wearing a helmet won’t keep you from getting in an accident, but it will always be there if you do.” When riding a bike we always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If you get in a bike accident, helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 50% and reduce face and neck injuries by 33%. It is good practice to put it on.