A recent deadly cycling accident in Bentonville is bringing biking safety to the forefront. 
In our Police Rapport we take a look at ways to be proactive in staying safe while on two wheels.

“Northwest Arkansas is such an active community and cycling is one of those things. What we want people to know is that you don’t want to just jump into this sport, you need help with that and that’s what we want to do today. Is show you how to get started, how to be safe and how to enjoy it,” said Gene Page with the Bentonville Police Department.

The first thing to cross of your list is a fully functioning biked that’s tailored to you and your style of biking like trail, road or mountain biking. 

“That’s the first thing you want to start with and it can be very difficult and hard decision to make but any bike shop, when you go in, talk to the employees and tell them about the style of riding you want to do, they can help you  out in picking out the right bike that fits your body type and make sure that you’re safe,” said Gene. 

A proper bike fitting takes about 45 minutes to ensure you’ll be able to ride the bike both efficiently and comfortably.
Once you have the bike, clothing should be next on the list. The brighter your clothes are, the more visible you will be to traffic. You can opt for fluorescent yellows, greens, and oranges or clothes with reflective strips. 

“This is what’s going to be higher up on the bike. They’re probably going to see you before they see the bike and the brighter the colors the better,” said Gene. 

Even the brightest  colors will eventually fade so it’s recommended you restock your brightly colored biking clothes once a year.
The next thing to add and perhaps one of the most important is the helmet. 

“Your head has got to be protected and you can’t go wrong with any kind of helmet so they got all types of sizes, colors, shapes, make sure you get one that fits you,” 

And when it comes to helmets, how long do they last? Do we need to replace them every so often like our clothes?

“We recommend that you do because if you take a spill with that you might not notice a fracture or any type of break into it but any kind of spill make sure you head to your nearest bike shop throw that old one away and get a new one. Start fresh,” said Gene.  

If you haven’t guessed, visibility is key. That means proper lighting on your bike. You don’t want to leave this off your checklist because it’s sate law.

“You have to have a red on the rear of your bike and a white light on the front emitting out at least 500,” said Gene. 

At this point you’re calculating the cost – but enjoying a safe bike ride doesn’t have to break the bank. 

“Safety doesn’t have to cost a lot. There’s something is everyone’s price range. Some of these lights here we can take a look, come of these will range from $40 in more of the high end and then you even have these that are only $4 that are gonna do some of the same job, may not last as long, but still we can be safe,” said Gene.   

The more cautious we are the safer we will be riding our bikes around Northwest Arkansas.

“We can’t be too safe,” said Gene. 

If you have a topic you want Jennifer Peñate and Gene Page to take a look at in the next Police Rapport email Jennifer at jpenate@knwa.com.