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The safety of our cyclists is the number one priority of the BP MS 150. Each year, thousands of participants make their way from Houston to Austin. On the route, there is diverse group of cyclists with different experience and skill levels. We work hard to create a proactive approach to safety to help ensure that everyone has a great ride and arrive safely at the finish line.
Safety isn't just about wearing your helmet and knowing the rules of the road. Cycling safety encompasses a wide variety of topics including bike maintenance, group riding skills, cycling etiquette, and much more. To best prepare for the BP MS150, participants should become familiar with the three E's of cycling safety: Experience, Education, and Equipment.
A great training program will help you gain the experience and skills you need to have a fun and safe BP MS 150 experience.
Group Riding Skills
The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) conducts the Group Riding Skills Courses. The LAB is a national organization dedicated to cycling, cycling advocacy and cycling education and the Society's cycling education partner.
League of American Bicyclists
Education has been a core activity of the League of American Bicyclists since the late 1970's. The organization is dedicated to working with all experience levels – from brand-new bicyclists to experienced bicyclists who want to refine their skills and teach others.
Safe Cycling Challenge
The Safe Cycling Challenge is intended for educational purposes only. The test is not a pass/fail test, so feel free to take it as many times as you'd like to gain safe cycling knowledge. The questions have been designed to increase your knowledge and awareness of a broad range of cycling safety practices that you are likely to experience during training rides and the BP MS 150.
Answers and other related information can be found on the Safety page you are currently reading.
This tool has been prepared by the BP MS 150 Safety Committee, whose aspiration is to complete this annual event with zero harm to its riders, volunteers, organizers, and the wonderful communities who open up their hearts and doors to us. Please send any feedback to the BP MS 150 Safety Committee at BPMS150SafetyCommittee@nmss.org.
Appropriate cycling equipment and cycling education are two major components to ensure you will have an enjoyable BP MS 150 experience.
All participants are responsible for keeping their cycling equipment in good working order. If you have questions or concerns, visit your local Official BP MS 150 Bike Store.
The Team Safety Coordinator serves an important role in assisting the Team Captain in carrying out the planning and execution of safety education, training and awareness for the team members participating in the BP MS 150.
To further uphold the integrity and safety of the BP MS 150, the National MS Society has established specific courses of action for unsafe rider behaviors that may arise during the event.
The safety of our cyclists is the number one priority at Bike MS. Each year, tens of thousands of participants join in more than 85 rides across the nation. There is a great mix of riders with different experience and skill levels on the road together. To help ensure that you and everyone have a great ride and arrives safely at the finish line, please review this safety information about personal safety, group riding skills, cycling etiquette and bike maintenance.
Check these things after each ride, and next time you'll roll without a hitch.
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 remedy 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.
Learn the Basics of Bike Maintenance, brought to you from our friends at Bicycling Magazine.