Bicycling Safety


  • A CPSC approved helmet in good condition is required on all of our rides.
  • All bicycle helmets sold in this country since 1999 are CPSC approved.
  • Helmets should be replaced at least every 10 years since the materials deteriorate over time.

Lane Usage. 
OK, I admit it. I am probably the worst offender here, but here are the guidelines we will follow.
  • NEVER ride on the wrong side of the road. The are enough blind corners and silent Priuses to cause a serious accident. Even if there is no yellow line, we should always leave enough room for oncoming traffic to easily pass us.
  • On busy roads we should ride single file as close to the right side as  safe.
  • On quiet roads we should generally ride only two abreast. Traffic coming around blind corners behind us don't expect the whole lane to be filled with bikes.
  • The exception to all this is when we are turning left or on a very narrow road when we want to "control the lane" to prevent cars from trying to squeeze past us.
  • In general we want to share the road and not surprise other users.
  • Remember, "Dress to be visible, ride like you're invisible".

Parked Cars.

  • DO NOT ride near a parked car.
  • When passing a parked car, move left at least 6 feet. This is an example of controlling the lane.
  • Hitting a car door that swings out in front of you is bad.
  • Instinctively swerving left into traffic is worse.

Rail Trails
  • We have had more accidents on rail trails than anywhere else.
  • DO NOT let your guard down just because there are no cars.

Hand Signals.
  • When turning right, I use my right arm to point to where I am going rather than the traditional left arm signal. That 17 year old driver will know exactly what you mean.
  • When stopping, I raise one or the other arm like I'm going to ask the teacher a question. This is "Bike New York" style and it is more visible than the tradition arm down signal.

We find that drivers are generally very courteous to us and we need to return the favor.
  • When we stop along the road, we should stay in line rather than bunching up and blocking the lane.
  • When a driver is courteous to us, its always nice to acknowledge it with a friendly wave.

Again, I am one of the worst offenders. I'm not going to play cop, but keep this in mind:
  • Yes, it is fun to see how fast you can charge down a hill.
  • The laws of physics tell us that falling off a bike at 30 MPH will hurt 4 times as much as falling off at 15 MPH.

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