Biking is one of the most popular forms of exercise, as well as transportation. Especially in more urban locales, biking to and from work, to friends’ homes, or to the store is common practice. And even more people are drawn to biking as it is a low impact exercise with great cardiovascular and overall health benefits. With all that being said, it is crucial to stay aware of the main bike safety rules of the road, to maintain your own safety and the safety of pedestrians and drivers. Here are some rules to note, and tips to take to heart when you hop into the saddle!
Ride Like You Drive
Bicyclists are subject to the same traffic signs and laws that drivers are. If you approach a red light, stop. If you come to a one-way street, proceed accordingly. Yield to pedestrians. Ride in the same direction as vehicle traffic. And signal if you are going to make a turn. Following these rules will help keep you and the people around you safe. Also, if bike lanes or paths are available, utilize them. They are there to make space for bicyclists and motorists.
Stay Off Busy Expressways/Highways
While this is illegal in many places, people often decide to ride on the shoulder to get where they are going. If you are on a long ride from city to city, or if you are training for a road bike race, use extreme caution if your route is sided by speeding cars. It only takes a split second for a driver to look away and veer of course, so gear up, get some rear view mirrors, and wear brightly colored clothing if you absolutely have to ride across one of these areas. If possible, opt for a more suburban route with less traffic and less danger.
*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or other health care professional before seeking treatment or taking related advice herein.*
Story Credit: Road Bike Safety: Rules of the Road by Sophia Breene
Photo Credit: Cycling Oxford by Tejvan Pettinger. Used under a Creative Commons license.
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