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It’s that time of year when Iowans and people from around the world join together to bike through Iowa! This week starts the 7-day long RAGBRAI ride, starting in Sergeant Bluff and ending in Lansing, with many stops along the way. If you are participating, we would love to remind you of some safety tips to help you avoid injury while riding across Iowa!

Use Hand Signals:

Remember to use hand signals to indicate which way you are going to drivers and other bikers. If you’re taking a left turn, extend your left arm. If you’re taking a right turn, bend your elbow 90 degrees with your hand pointing upwards. If you are stopping, bend your elbow 90 degrees with your hand pointing downward. Remember always to obey yield signs, and yield when you are crossing traffic.

Use Proper Gear:

Not only is wearing a helmet essential, but it is also necessary that your helmet fits properly. Make sure your helmet is adjusted to fit your head correctly. It should be level and cover your forehead, leaving two fingers width from the bottom of the helmet and your eyebrows.

Wearing bright-colored clothing can help you be more visible. Also, having a headlight and taillight on your bike can help others see you — especially at night.

Make sure your bicycle is well-serviced and fits you properly. There are different sizes of bikes made for different sizes of people. Visit a local bicycle retailer to schedule a fitting session.

Avoid Distractions:

If you need to send a text or make a phone call, pull over to a safe area and come to a complete stop before grabbing your phone. Always pay attention to your surroundings, and look out for loose gravel and debris. Being distracted can lead to crashes or injuries, so make sure to pay attention while you are riding.


Drink water throughout your ride to avoid dehydration. Stay hydrated throughout the day rather than only drinking water when thirsty. Also, driving while impaired is very dangerous; avoid drinking alcohol while riding.

Driver Etiquette:

It is the responsibility of both the rider and motorists to share the road. Always be patient, reduce your speed when approaching a bicycle, and do not honk in case of startling a cyclist. Be kind, courteous, and remember, cyclists have as much of a right to the road as a vehicle.

For more tips and information on staying safe and avoiding injury this week, visit We are wishing everyone a safe and fun RAGBRAI week from DMOS!


*Disclaimer: The content of this blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional for any medical questions. While we make every effort to ensure the information we share is accurate, we welcome comments, suggestions, or corrections of errors. This blog should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing a “standard of care” in legal sense or basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on this blog or website. In no way does listening, reading, emailing, or interacting on social media with our content establish a doctor-patient relationship. This blog is not medical advice. If necessary, please seek treatment immediately*

Jenna Valenti

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