Cycling can be a fun, Eco-friendly way to get to your destination, but it comes with the responsibility of keeping yourself and others safe while traveling.
I have recently witnessed cyclists riding on sidewalks, running red lights, and boldly cutting off motorized vehicles. This type of behavior is not only endangering other civilians, but also gives cyclists a bad rep – it’s time we learn, and abide by the rules of the road…
1. Obey Traffic Signals.
Despite the fact that bicycles don’t have motors, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. Obeying traffic signals is the law, even on a bike. Last week I witnessed a cyclist getting a ticket for blowing through a red light.
2. Appropriate Lane to Ride in.
Be smart and ride with traffic. If there isn’t a designated bike lane in the direction you are headed, use the one on the far right. You do not have to ride within a bike lane if you are avoiding a hazard. DO NOT RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK!!!
3. Be Predictable.
Use hand signals to make your intentions obvious to motorists and other cyclists. Point/Shout out road hazards to other riders, and do your best not to ride like a drunken sailor – ride in a straight line.
4. Stay Aware.
Make eye contact with drivers – anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists will do next. Be on the lookout for things/situations that may put you at risk.
5. Be Safe!
Always wear a helmet (Yes, even if your destination is a few blocks away!). Make sure your tires have enough air. Use reflectors at night. Use lights on the front and rear ends of your ride.
6. Road Rage.
Avoid it at all costs –you are on a bicycle. Car vs. Bike = you loose, plain and simple. If you haven’t been cut off or almost run off the road, congrats – your time will come. When this happens (because it will), hit your brakes, and make noise to let them know you are there.
Stay safe. Have fun. Don’t be a dumb ass.
May the wind always be at your back and may it not be your own.