Bicycle shops are often a safe place to buy and sell new bikes, but they also offer a safe haven for people with disabilities.
Here are three tips to make sure you’re able to take a ride without losing one.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help Bike shops and their owners are often friendly, and they often have bikes for sale.
This may seem like a bad idea, but it’s often the best thing you can do for someone with a disability, says Amy Leibowitz, a disability advocacy manager with the National Disability Rights Network.
“The most vulnerable people with a physical or cognitive impairment are the ones that get the least attention from the general public,” Leibowsz says.
“They often have the most barriers to getting help from the people that have the expertise and knowledge about them.”
So if you’re considering buying a bike, ask for advice.
If you can’t help yourself, try asking for help from a friend.
If it’s not an easy task, ask someone to call your disability advocate and ask them to talk to someone.
The best time to ask is when you have a bike that’s not sitting in your garage, and it’s a lot of work to get it back.
Get a seatbelts If you’re not able to ride, ask a friend or neighbor to help you get a seatbelt.
Many disability advocates say the best place to ask questions is at the shop where you bought the bike.
They can be the best resource for people who are just beginning to ride.
Be aware of your surroundings If you need help getting on a bike in a busy shopping mall or at the airport, you can call the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
They can offer a free online form, which you can fill out online, that will ask for information about where you might need help.
You’ll need to provide your name, address and contact information.
“It’s also a good idea to look at the safety signage,” Lebowitz says.
For example, if you live in a shopping center or airport, look for signs warning people not to ride with people who need help, she says.