Safety should be your FIRST priority on any ride. You are the only person that can ensure your own safety. Keep in mind that your actions and decisions can also affect the safety of the people around you. Life does not come with an “undo” button, so remember that bad decisions and choices can come with permanent consequences. While riding, stay alert and focused, and be aware of the cyclists and motorists around you.
What the law requires
- Bicycles must obey all traffic laws, traffic signals, and stop signs. A bicycle is a vehicle with the same privileges and restrictions as a car.
- Ride with traffic, NOT against it.
- Always ride in the “slow” lane, unless you are preparing for a left turn.
- Use hand signals to indicate your intentions for turning and stopping.
- Do not pass cars on the right, and do not weave your way through traffic.
- Only one person per seat is allowed on a bicycle.
- Cyclists when operating between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a front white light and a rear red light (steady or flashing).
- Ride as far to the right of your lane as is safe.
- Stay far enough ahead or far enough behind motorists to be visible.
- Do not weave in the lane. If you do, drivers behind you will have a hard time passing, which causes an unsafe environment.
- Ride single file. Riding two or three abreast in a lane is very dangerous for other riders and drivers.
- Assume that drivers can’t see you.
- Always stop and look “Left-Right-Left” before entering or crossing traffic.
Watch out for:
- Cars turning left in front of you.
- Cars that pass you then cut in front of you to make a turn.
- Parked cars (drivers may be opening doors into traffic.)
- Railroad tracks—they can grab your front wheel and cause you to fall.
- Be careful of making sudden turns or movements that drivers may not be anticipating.
Riding in a group
- Ride single file and keep a straight line at all times. Be aware of the cyclists around you at all times and do not weave back and forth across the lane.
- When passing other riders, make sure the traffic is clear and always pass on the left. Let them know you are there by calling out “On your LEFT!” before you pass. Never pass on the right.
- When a car is approaching from the rear, call out, “Car BACK!” When a car is approaching from the front, call out, “Car UP!” When a car is approaching from the side, call out, “Car LEFT!” or, “Car RIGHT!”
Use hand signals to indicate your intentions to other riders and drivers for turning and stopping as shown below:
- When stopping suddenly, you may not be able to take one hand off the handlebars. In this case, call out “Stopping!” or “Slowing!”
- Look for hazards in the road and call out anything unexpected like bumps, potholes, gravel, sand, twigs/branches, broken glass, or “road kill” so the riders behind will know about it.
- Do not look down to adjust gears at an intersection. Wait until it is safe to make any adjustments to pedals, water bottles, gears, or stuff in your jersey.
- Wear a helmet at all times while you are riding.
- Make sure your bike is road-ready and safe.
- Dispose of your trash properly.