Track cycling can be a thrilling and exhilarating sport, but it can also be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. As an Olympic gold medalist and track cycling legend, Marty Nothstein knows firsthand the importance of safety in this sport. In this article, we will discuss some essential track cycling safety tips that Marty Nothstein recommends to prevent accidents and injuries.
Wear a Helmet
The most important safety equipment for any cyclist, regardless of their level of experience, is a helmet. Helmets are specifically designed to protect your head in the event of an accident, and can be the difference between life and death. While some track cyclists may feel that helmets are too heavy or unattractive, it is essential to wear one at all times while cycling.
Make sure your helmet fits properly and is secured tightly before you begin cycling. Check for any cracks or damage to the helmet before each ride, and replace it if there are any signs of wear and tear. It’s also a good idea to invest in a helmet that has been tested and certified by a reputable organization, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the United States.
Check Your Bike
Before you start cycling, it’s crucial to ensure that your bike is in good condition. Regular maintenance and checks can prevent accidents and injuries. Check the tires for wear and tear and ensure that they are properly inflated. Inspect the brakes, chains, pedals, handlebars or stems, and saddles for any damage or wear. Check the frame for any cracks or damage that could indicate an unsafe bike.
If you are unsure how to check your bike, take it to a professional bike shop for a tune-up. They can inspect your bike and make any necessary repairs to ensure that it is in top condition.
Distractions can be dangerous while cycling, especially on a track where other cyclists are moving at high speeds. Avoid listening to music or wearing headphones while cycling, as you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. The sound of other cyclists approaching or any potential hazards is critical to your safety.
Similarly, avoid using your phone or other devices while cycling. It’s also important to stay alert and focused, especially when cycling in a group or during a race.
Keep Your Emotions in Check
Emotions can lead to poor decisions while cycling, and aggressive or reckless behavior can cause accidents and injuries. Avoid getting overly excited or emotional during a race or group ride, and focus on the task at hand.
Stay calm and collected, and always follow the rules of the track and cycling etiquette. Aggressive riding or intentional crashes can be dangerous for all involved, and can lead to serious consequences.
Wear Protective Gear
Lastly, wearing protective gear can reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident or fall. Body armor and skin suits can protect your body from impact and abrasions, and can be especially useful in high-speed crashes.
Invest in a good-quality skin suit and body armor, and make sure that they fit properly. Wear them during training and races, and always be prepared for the unexpected.
In conclusion, track cycling can be a safe and enjoyable sport if proper safety measures are taken. By following these tips from Marty Nothstein, you can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and enjoy cycling to the fullest.