Dr. David Klein Offers Biking Safety Tips
Looking for safe exercise solutions during COVID-19, many area residents are taking to the great outdoors, including mountain biking and cycling. As a fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon, Dr. David Klein of Tri-County Orthopedics is offering some general tips for cyclists of all ages to help them stay safe and avoid injury. Patients in need of specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (973) 538-2334 to be seen by Dr. Klein in Cedar Knolls at 197 Ridgedale Ave., Suite 300, in Bedminster at 1590 Rte. 206 North, and in Denville in 109 Route 46 E., Suite 1. Telemedicine appointments are also available. For urgent needs, patients can visit the practice’s Walk-In Clinic at the Cedar Knolls location Monday through Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday afternoons, 2 to 5 p.m.
“As health care providers for our community, we are encouraged to see so much outdoor activity and a boom for cycling and mountain biking,” says Dr. Klein. “Riding bikes is great for mental and physical health, especially as COVID-19 continues, and we want to make sure our area cyclists know about the potential for injury and take the necessary precautions.”
Bruises, scrapes and minor cuts are all common for cyclists of various levels. Orthopedic specialists like the experts at Tri-County Orthopedics frequently see a number of fractures as well as muscle strains and sprains associated with cycling and mountain biking. More serious injuries are still possible, however, especially if a cyclist collides with another rider or a motorist or crashes. To stay safe and avoid injury, follow these safety tips from Tri-County Orthopedics when gearing up to go for a ride:
- Dress appropriately. Always wear a helmet and ensure that your helmet (or your child’s) is approved by the American National Standards Institute, fits well with a secure chinstrap and does not impair vision. Mountain biking requires additional safety gear, such as gloves, body armor and specific shoes. Additionally, do not wear any loose or baggy clothing.
- Pay attention to your bike. Make sure that the bike you're riding is suited for the terrain you're on as well as the right size for you, which can give you more control and help you avoid most overuse injuries. Pay total attention when you are riding. Be sure not to talk or text on your phone or wear headphones. Maintain the tires, brakes and gears on your bike regularly, and keep lights on your bike if you ride at night.
- Pick a trail that's right for you. Do no exceed your skill level when choosing a trail to ride. If the trail has sections outside of your riding ability, walk with your bike instead, especially if you're not familiar with the trail yet.
- Be extra careful on roads. Know all the city rules for cyclists before riding in the roads. Ride in the direction of traffic while following traffic signs and lights. Use a bike lane if there is one and signal your turns. Be prepared to act quickly to avoid collisions, especially in intersections.
- Watch the weather. For sunny days, wear sunscreen and layer appropriately when the temperature drops. Always stay hydrated and avoid riding in adverse weather. You should drink a full 8 ounces of water for each hour you’re on your bike. To avoid exhaustion, pace yourself and don't push yourself too hard. Try changing riding positions as needed to avoid aches and strains.
"Interest in cycling and mountain biking is growing every day as many look for ways to get out and stay active during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those biking more as well as those new to the hobby, there is a higher risk of injury," says Dr. Klein. "If you think you’ve suffered an injury, see an orthopedic specialist as soon as possible — if you hit your head or have bleeding that won’t stop after a few minutes, go to an emergency room or urgent care immediately."
Dr. Klein is a fellowship-trained sports medicine doctor and general orthopedic surgeon specializing in all phases of musculoskeletal repair and reconstruction. He is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the American Osteopathic Association, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and AOTrauma North America. Dr. Klein is available to see patients at Tri-County Orthopedics offices in Cedar Knolls, Bedminster, and Denville.
To learn more about orthopedic safety or to schedule a safe appointment with Dr. Klein, call (973) 538-2334.