Ride at least three feet from the curb or parked vehicles or
debris in curb area and in a straight line. Don't swerve in and
out around parked vehicles.
Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
Sidewalk riding for bicyclists past the learning stage and
being closely supervised by adults can be more dangerous than on
the road, obeying traffic laws. It is also illegal unless the
community has passed an ordinance specifically permitting
sidewalk riding. This can be age-restricted, location-restricted
or based on the type of property abutting the sidewalk.
Obey all traffic laws.
Be predictable! Let other users know where you intend to go
and maintain an understood course.
You will fare better with other road users if you function like a
legal vehicle operator, which you are.
Right turning motorists can be a problem, but taking
the lane or more of the right portion of the wide curb lane can
prevent this. Take an adult bicycling course to learn skills and
develop confidence in traffic.
Left turning motorists are the cause of most adult
bicyclists’ crashes. Motorists claim not to see the cyclist
who is traveling in a straight path in the opposite
Bicyclists, when making your own left turn look over your left shoulder for
traffic, signal your left turn and change lanes smoothly, so you are
to the left side or center of the through lane by the time you reach the
intersection. If a left turn lane is present, make a lane
change to center of that lane. Do not move to left of that
lane as left-turning motorists may cut you off.
Do not wait until you reach the crosswalk, then stop and try
to ride from a stop across other traffic. If you need to cross
as a pedestrian, leave the travel lanes, then get into the
crosswalk, walking or riding your bicycle like a pedestrian
travels, not fast, and with pedestrian signals.
Lane positioning can be especially important in approaching a
downhill intersection. Moving to the center makes you more visible
to intersecting and left turning motorists in opposing lanes.
Going downhill, your speed is likely to be closer to traffic
speeds or posted speed limits. Hugging the curb when there are
visual barriers increases your chance to be struck by a bigger
vehicle, or of hitting a pedestrian or sidewalk riding
Take the lane, be seen and see other traffic better if you are
close to traffic speeds
Wear bright colors during the day and retro-reflective items at
night along with headlight and taillight to increase your visibility
to other road users.
Wear a bicycle helmet on every ride to reduce your chance of
head injury in event of a fall or crash. Most serious injuries
from a fall or crash are to the head and most frequently, the
forehead, so wear helmet level with the ground, just above the
Be aware of changing road surfaces, new construction or unusual
barriers on the roadway, distracters for both you and other vehicle
Leaves can be slippery in the early morning and are a hazard
even when slightly damp. Distractions such as dogs, wild animals
and even humans can draw attention from the roadway and lead to
a crash. Expect them.
Cyclists need room to get around potholes, sewer grates and
Leave at least three feet when passing bicycles, more room at
Change lanes to pass any bicycle traveling in a narrow lane.
Train yourself to scan for fast moving (it's hard to tell
speed) bicycles and motorcycles in the opposing lane to you when
turning left, and scan sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians
and bicyclists using the sidewalk and crosswalk as a pedestrian.
Always scan to your right side sidewalk before you leave a stop
light or stop sign. And to the left and right side sidewalks
when on a one-way street.
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Larry Corsi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: February 15, 2012