Cycling is both a safe mode of transportation and a whole lot of fun. With more and more people taking to two wheels it’s important to know the rules of the road as well as how to prepare yourself for a safe ride. If you’re biking with children, they’re never too young to learn the rules for safe biking. Follow these guidelines so you and your family will be better prepared for a safe ride.
Before You Ride
If you’re riding your own bike that you’ve dug out of the shed, take it to a bike shop to have it inspected and tuned up. Be sure your tires are properly inflated and quick releases and other bolts are tight. When you rent one of our bikes at AAA Riding Tigers you can count on the bicycle being property inspected, tuned up and ready to ride.
How To Dress
It’s always a good idea to wear bright colors when riding anywhere but especially around traffic and pedestrians. Don’t wear loose clothing or have laces or strings dangling. They put you at risk of getting tangled in your chain. Never wear headphones on a bike. You need all of your senses to ride safely.
Wear a Helmet
A helmet should be worn each and every time you are on a bike to prevent a head injury. Nobody plans on falling off a bike – that’s why they’re called accidents. Even the most careful rider has them. Be sure the helmet you wear fits you correctly and you know how to wear it. Looking up past your eyebrows, you should see the edge of the helmet for a proper fit.
Rules of the Road
Driving a bicycle requires care and courtesy of other drivers. Drive your bike in a responsible manner and obey all traffic laws. Sure, it can be tempting to ignore stop signs and other rules of the road but this is how crashes occur.
Be Predictable – Act like a Vehicle
Drive your bike in a smooth and predicable manner. Watch the road ahead of you while being aware of what is going on around you without gawking. Communicate your attentions to turn or stop either by hand or by voice. Always ride single file along paths and roads with traffic or pedestrians.
Pedestrians and Traffic
Always ride on the right side of the road or recreational path, Never pass motorists or other cyclists on the right. Never ride facing traffic. If you are on a rec path or other trail, allow adequate clearance for pedestrians or other cyclists. Always signal your intention to turn left or right and announce your approach when nearing pedestrians.
Do not stop in the middle of a path, trail or road. Pull off to the side to allow pedestrians and vehicles to easily pass. If you’re riding at night be sure to use lights – a white headlight in the front and a red flashing light in the rear.
Animals are sometimes excited by the movement of a bicycle and take chase. Stopping your bike will often cause a chasing dog to stop in its tracks. Often yelling “Stop!” or “No!” will work also. Always yield to horses and people on horseback. Keep a safe distance from large nesting birds and alligators. If you’re ever confronted by an animal be sure to keep your bicycle between you and the animal.