Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bicycle Etiquette and Safety

Now that the warm weather and long nights have arrived, if you are a bicycle enthusiast, promote your safety and well-being by obeying biking safety rules.  Furthermore, to be respectful of others on the roads and trails, it is important to be mindful of biking etiquette. Of the many websites that you will find devoted to this topic, TEAM LIVESTRONG, references a number of excellent safety tips required by their Challenge participants: 

Wear a helmet at all times:  You may think you are safe without a helmet but one patch of sand or slip up and you could be down.  A helmet can make all the difference!  When my son was five, he lost control when his bicycle tire slipped.  Although he had to have stitches near his eye, if he had not been wearing a helmet, the outcome would have been far worse!

Be Respectful of Others (Observe the Traffic Rules):  Ride in the same direction of traffic and follow the same traffic laws as if you were driving a car.  Use hand singles to advise others of what you will be doing. Do not pass on the right and be sure to stop at red lights, stop signs and yield to pedestrians.  You are sharing the roads and must be respectful of automobiles and walkers.  If you are riding on a trail and notice walkers ahead, ring your bell (if you have one) and announce loudly, ‘coming up on your left’.  If the walkers do not move over, slow down.

Stay to the Right:  Ride as far to the right as is possible unless you are making a left-hand turn or avoiding hazards in the road.  If you must stop, do your best to move as far off the road as possible.

Ride Single File or Two Abreast: When riding in a group of two or more, be sure that you do not ride more than two abreast on the roads.  According to LIVESTRONG, “no state permits riding more than two abreast on public roads”.

Equip Your Bike for Safety:  For safety purposes, your bicycle should have a bell, mirror headlight and taillight.

Regular Maintenance: As you would do with your car, keep your bike in excellent repair, checking the breaks and tires. Also, be sure to lock it when leaving it parked. 

These are just a small listing of the safety measures you need to practice when riding your bicycle.  If you are a biking enthusiast, you can find additional information on various websites to include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the  National Biking Safety Network.

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