Before we state any of this, please note the owner of this website DOES NOT know your financial situation – this is just educational information !!! Talk to a Certified Financial Planner today to learn more about your particular situation!
If you get hit by a vehicle while walking, running or riding your bike, there is a very good chance that the driver is either under insured or has no insurance whatsoever. Review your auto policy and make sure you have UNINSURED and UNDERINSURED coverage in the same amount as your liability coverage. Besides your personal medical coverage, this could kick in if you are hit by a vehicle, even if you’re not in a car yourself. The liability coverage protects other people if you cause a crash — uninsured and underinsured coverage protects you and your family.
If you already have this, check your limits. Sometimes it is very inexpensive to raise your limits as well. I know people that have raised their coverage limits from 250,000 to 500,000 for only 40 bucks more a year.
Hopefully you have a good HEALTH INSURANCE plan as well. Be aware that most athletes that are hit by cars and have very serious injuries have medical bills well over ONE MILLION DOLLARS! You may not like paying your health insurance every month, but when a serious accident happens, it sure comes in handy.
PREPARE FOR THE WORST:
Check into LIFE INSURANCE (if insurable) and DISABILITY coverage while your at it. If you work for an employer who offers it, it is usually very inexpensive to max out both (very little out of your paycheck monthly for a nice chunk of life insurance coverage – sometimes 2,3, or 4 times your salary). Disability sometimes can max out at about 66% of your salary which is still not bad coverage either. If you are self employed or your employer does not offer coverage and you ride, run and train in traffic all the time, probably time to get some. I know a mountain biker who was self employed that crashed and broke both his wrists! His job involved his hands and with 2 casts on them, he couldn’t work! (this is one example when disability insurance would be very important since when disabled such as this, you are probably not getting a paycheck!). Some of you who are in your 20′s or early 30′s and in PERFECT health could probably get a $250,000 term policy for the monthly cost of a extra large pizza!
If you are filthy rich, I guess disability and life insurance is not a big deal – but most cyclists I know do not have the first name Bill Gates.
Setting up an ESTATE PLAN (will, trust, medical powers, financial powers of attorney, guardianship for your kids, proper beneficiary designation on IRA’s and life insurance, etc.) is a very good idea as well, especially if you are married or have children. If you and your wife are killed in a car accident and you have young children, who will take care of them? What if you are single and you get hit by a car and end up in a coma? Who will act on your behalf for financial and medical decisions? Time to think about these things and get it in writing!
Crashes happen all the time. Whether you are riding by yourself, with a group, or with your kids, there is a very good chance you could crash. Always wear a helmet and always wear gloves (first thing you put down when you crash is your hands). If you are in a group ride, and you hear or see a crash, please stop to make sure everyone is ok. If you are riding in a group, and you hear or see a crash, and you keep going because you are on the front and want to keep hammering, you are officially “that guy”.
Please be aware that all group rides do not have permits or insurance. If you crash and get seriously injured, no one is picking up your medical tab as you are riding at your own risk. If you are not comfortable riding in a group, sit in the very back and watch and learn how the group works together. So in conclusion, try not to crash. It really hurts.
Do the riders you are riding with know you? Yes. Do they know who to call when you crash and hit your head and our out cold? No. Always ride with ROAD ID or your DRIVERS LICENSE or ID CARD, especially when riding by yourself. By the way, when you run that stop sign, and the police officer pulls you over, he will immediately ask you for your Drivers license. You better hope you have it on you if you want to keep him happy!
There is no easy way to say this. If you are texing while driving, well, YOU ARE AN IDIOT and you are probably going to run over a cyclist and kill them. Do yourself a favor, throw your phone in the back seat where you can’t reach it while you drive. You will save a life, maybe yours.
TIME TRIAL BIKES:
Most of our friends that love riding their time trial bikes do not do it in groups. Time trial bikes are meant to go straight and fast. The are very difficult to manuever. DO NOT mix it up in a group ride with your time trial bike. You are asking for trouble. If it is your only bike, sit on the back of the group, out of the way of others. It is very hard to react quickly on a time trial bike! (do you see pro’s on TV doing group rides on their time trial bikes? Uh.. no.)
1.5 MILLION bikes are stolen every year in the United States. If you own a bike, WRITE DOWN THE SERIAL NUMBER and take photo’s of it and store both of those in a safe place. If you get it stolen, and you see it pop up on Craigslist or some other website, the pictures and serial number provide proof to the police that it is yours. Make sure you lock your bike when going into the coffee shop, make sure your garage door is shut at night, and make sure your bike is locked to the rack on your car.
Listening to your IPOD while spinning in the gym is enjoyable and keeps you motivated. Listening to your IPOD while riding in traffic is just plain dumb. Your reaction time slows and you can’t hear other cyclists trying to tell you to watch out for the pothole ahead. But since most of you do this anyway against common sense advice, at least leave 1 ear bud out so you can hear the siren of the police car as he pulls you over for running the stop sign.
DEEP DISH CARBON WHEELS and CARBON BRAKES:
When you start getting into cycling, you’ll probably get an expensive set of these. They are very aero and made to roll very fast at high speeds hence why you see a lot of Time Trial bikes using them. Use caution though, if there is a crosswind, you will get thrown 1-2 feet to the left or right without even knowing it. When it is windy out and you are running these, it is best to sit on the back of the group. If you see a rider with these on, give that rider plenty of room when you are mixing it up in a group ride. Even strong pro cyclists can’t keep a straight line when mother nature wants to give you a push. Oh yea, and with Carbon wheels comes carbon brakes. When it is raining, it is quite a nice surprise when your carbon wheels are wet and you go to stop and you just keep rolling while you are on the brakes. SO BE CAREFUL! In perfect weather though, they sure are sweet!