Bicycle Etiquette Reminders
Cycling is a great way to stay healthy, reduce your carbon footprint and explore your surroundings.
Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just starting out, it’s important to remember that, although riding a bike can be an incredibly personal experience, you are sharing the road with others.
Therefore, you’ll want to follow these essential bicycle etiquette tips to help ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
Know the Rules of the Road
Before you hit the road, it’s essential to know the rules. Cyclists should understand and adhere to all traffic laws, respecting traffic signals, stop signs, and other road rules. You have the same rights and responsibilities as a motorist when riding a bicycle. So, be sure to obey traffic laws for safety’s sake.
Use Hand Signals
Hand signals are a critical part of safe cycling. Using hand signals lets other cyclists and motorists know your intentions, making it easier for them to anticipate your movements. Remember to use your left arm to signal when you’re turning left and your right arm to signal when you’re turning right. To signal a stop, hold your left arm out and point down.
Stay to the Right
When cycling on the road, always stay on the right-hand side. That allows faster traffic to pass you safely on the left. Always ride single file to avoid blocking traffic when riding in a group.
Don’t Ride on the Sidewalk
Riding on the sidewalk is dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. It’s also illegal in many places. If you must ride on the sidewalk, ride slowly and yield to pedestrians.
Pass with Care
When passing other cyclists or pedestrians, always do so with care. Call out “passing on your left” to let them know you’re coming. Make sure you have enough space to pass safely and slow down if necessary.
Make sure you’re visible to everyone you share the road with by wearing bright or reflective clothing, using lights and reflectors, and positioning yourself in a visible part of the lane, especially when riding at night or in low-light conditions.
Make your movements predictable by signaling your intentions and maintaining a steady line. Avoid sudden movements or swerving, as these can be dangerous for you and others on the road.
Never Block Bike Lanes
Bike lanes are designated for cyclists, so it’s important never to block them. If you’re waiting at a red light, a stop sign, or stop for any other reason, position yourself to the right-hand side of the lane to allow other cyclists to pass.
Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks and crosswalks, so respecting their space is essential. Slow down when approaching pedestrians, and give them plenty of room to move.
Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Always look for potential hazards like potholes, road debris, and parked cars. Listen for traffic and use your peripheral vision to keep track of other road users.
Why Bicycle Etiquette is Important
Cycling is an enjoyable and healthy activity, but it’s important to remember that you’re sharing the road with other users. By following these bicycle etiquette tips, you can ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. With cities like San Francisco experiencing an average 500 of car and bicycle collisions each year, riders and drivers need to protect themselves.
Remember to obey traffic laws, use hand signals, stay visible, predictable, and alert, and always respect others. Doing so makes you a responsible and courteous cyclist and makes our roads safer for everyone.