Your safety is the number one priority at Bike MS, which is why we made Think Safe our motto.
Bike MS is for everyone which means there is a great mix of riders with different experience and skill levels on the road together at every Bike MS event.
To do your part to ensure everyone arrives safely at the finish line, please review this safety information about personal safety, group riding skills, cycling etiquette and bike maintenance.
The safety of our cyclists is our top priority. To help ensure that everyone has a great ride and arrives safely at the finish line, we work hard to create a proactive approach to safety.
Help us by knowing the rules of the road and following safe riding practices.
Here’s what you need to know about COVID-19 safety when attending a National MS Society gathering:
- Stay home if you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Masks are optional. If you need a mask, we’ve got you covered—just ask a National MS Society staff member.
- While vaccinations are not required to attend most National MS Society events, we strongly encourage everyone get vaccinated. This is important not only to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across all our communities, but for the safety of those who are immunocompromised—including many people with MS—who may receive less protection from COVID-19 vaccines. The National MS Society also has a mandatory vaccination policy for all Society employees.
- Society events are planned to allow for physical distance between staff, volunteers and participants whenever possible.
- We follow CDC guidelines for routine cleaning and sanitizing of restrooms, shared spaces, and high-touch surfaces, as well as ensure adequate handwashing supplies and/or hand sanitizer.
- There may be additional safety protocol for some events due to special circumstances, venue requirements or local mandates. Stay tuned to all communication about your event so you can be prepared.
We look forward to gathering safely with you! To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines visit CDC.gov, or for information about vaccines and people with MS, nationalMSsociety.org.
Please note: This information will be updated as we move through our Bike MS event season. Stay tuned for additional details!
Written by Natasha Grief, Bicycling Magazine
Most cyclists, if they check their bikes at all, wait to do it five minutes before the group is about to start rolling. What's the point? No one's going to wait for you to fix a cracked frame or a torn sidewall. Be one of the smart ones: Give your bike this once-over after each ride, so you're ready to go at the drop of a hat—or helmet.
Check for: Side-to-side play in the wheel; QRs or skewers that aren't tight or secure
How? Make sure quick-releases are closed all the way, and that bolt-on skewers are securely fastened.
On your next ride: Your wheel won't come loose and detach from your bike midride.
Check for: Trueness
How? While spinning the wheel, watch the distance between the rim and the brake pad. It should be uniform for the entire rotation. If it wobbles, the wheel needs truing. (Watch our pro true a wheel at http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/bike-washing/subtle-art-wheel-truing.)
On your next ride: Your wobbly wheel won't lead to more serious problems, such as a shudder while descending or brake pads rubbing.
Check for: Grit on the pads, caliper alignment
How? If your brakes feel gritty, clean the pads with a rag and degreaser; replace pads if the grooves are worn more than 50 percent compared with new pads. Calipers are aligned if the pads are equidistant from the rim.
On your next ride: You won't go to grab the levers only to roll right through the stop sign at the bottom of the hill.
Check for: Low tire pressure, embedded glass, slices in the tire or sidewall
How? Inflate tires to proper pressure, and carefully remove embedded debris with tweezers. A cut tire or sidewall is prone to a blowout and shouldn't be ridden; replace it.
On your next ride: Your chances of flatting will greatly decrease, and you may have prevented a nasty midride blowout.
Check for: Supplies you may have depleted on your ride
How? If you used something during a ride, replace it so it's there for the next ride. If your spare tube has been in there for a while, give it a quick inspection to make sure it's still intact.
On your next ride: You'll have a spare tube and CO2 cartridge to lend to the guy who didn't follow this postride checklist.
Check for: Loose bolts and overall wear
How? Worn-out cleats won't engage as crisply. You'll know when they've just plain quit on you, then it's time for new cleats. Bolts can loosen over time. If your cleat isn't secure to your shoe, tighten the bolts.
On your next ride: Your foot won't pop out without warning, and you won't tumble to the ground because you couldn't disengage your cleat.
Check for: Cracks, especially at the joints
How? Using a rag and bike polish, wipe dirt and moisture from your frame. Look for cracks, flaking paint and other irregularities.
On your next ride: You'll either be on your bike because you didn't find a crack, or you'll be on your way to the shop for a pro evaluation. If your carbon frame is cracked, don't mess around. Failure could be catastrophic.
- Heat Exhaustion Guidelines
- How To Ride in the Rain
- Safety in Group Cycling brochure - All youth riders (ages 12-17) must review with a parent or guardian before setting out.