Safety Tips to Ride Your Bike Safely
Riding your bike safely is key to lifelong enjoyment and benefits that bicycling affords us. The warming temperatures of spring and summer encourages many of us and our visitors to ride our bikes more frequently to work, go shopping or ride to the many recreational resources Tahoe is known for.
During this time, there is a significant increase in motorists and traffic congestion on the roads and more people choosing to use the shared-use/bike paths to stroll or ride bikes to their destination. This congested time necessitates the need to heighten our awareness and make smart decisions to ride your bike safely.
The following are useful tips and practices to remind us how to ride your bike safely:
• Obey all Rules of the Road and all local traffic laws.
• Ride in designated bike lanes, bike paths or as close to the edge of the road as is safe, in the direction of traffic flow or as directed by local governing laws.
• Stop at stop signs and traffic lights; slow down and look both ways at street intersections before crossing.
• Use approved hand signals for turning and stopping.
• You are sharing the road or path with others – motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists. Respect their rights.
• Ride defensively. Always assume others do not see you.
• Look ahead and be ready to avoid:
o Vehicles slowing or turning, entering the road or lane ahead of you, or coming up behind you.
o Parked car doors opening.
o Pedestrians stepping onto road.
o Children or pets playing near the road
o Potholes, storm water grates, railroad tracks, road or sidewalk construction, debris and other obstructions that could cause you to swerve into the traffic.
• Never ride with headphones. They mask traffic sounds and emergency vehicle sirens and distract you from concentrating on what is going on around you. Their wires can tangle in the moving parts of the bicycle and cause you to lose control.
• Never carry a passenger, unless it is a small child wearing an approved helmet and secured in a correctly mounted child carrier or child-carrying trailer.
• Never carry anything that obstructs your vision or you complete control of the bicycle.
• Never hitch a ride by holding on to another vehicle.
• Do not weave through traffic or make any moves that may surprise motorists with who you are sharing the road.
• Never ride your bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You can get a DUI from law enforcement.
• If possible, avoid riding in bad weather when visibility is reduced or during dawn, dusk or in the dark, or when extremely tired. Each of these conditions increases the risk of accident.
Make a practice of using these tips to ride your bike safely and you will continue enjoying the many unique experiences bicycle riding inevitably encourages.