Bicycle Safety

“Bicyclists fare best when they act as drivers of vehicles” – John Forester

Below are the basic rules of the road for riding your bike on a bike tour. Here is a list of more in depth safety videos

Traffic 101 from LAB
Safe Cycling Overview from National Highway Traffic Administation
ABC Quickcheck class from Traffic 101

Proper helmet Fit
Your helmet should sit straight on your head – not tipped toward the back of head. The chinstrap should be snug – only two fingers should fit between it and your chin.

Always ride on the right and as far to the right as “practical”
Use paved shoulders where available. Don’t ride more than two abreast and only single file in traffic. Don’t swerve around potholes or debris without first checking that it is clear behind. Pass parked cars a door width out, in case one opens.

Hand signals
Proper hand signals are necessary to let drivers, as well as other riders, know your intentions:

Left turn, left hand straight out.
Right turn, left arm bent at the elbow pointing up or right arm straight out.
Stopping, left arm bent at the elbow pointing down.
If you see debris on the road, point to it so riders behind you will be alerted. To signal the sag wagon to stop, tap the top of your helmet.

Riding with other riders
Stay to the right, and pass only on the left. Give a warning when passing other riders. Say “Passing on your left”. Ride predictably, never more than two abreast, and single up when a car or truck needs to pass. Call out, “Car back”, “Car up”, “Slowing”, or “Stopping” to alert other riders to what you can see and what you are doing.

Scanning
Keep your head up and keep it moving while looking around you. Regularly look in your mirror. If you do not have a mirror, get one.

Making a left turn
First, check that it is clear behind, signal and move to left side of lane. Signal again and complete the turn. If on a multi-lane road, move across each lane in steps.

Dogs
If chased by a dog, use pepper spray, squirt with a water bottle, yell at the dog, or try to out run it.

Crossing railroad tracks
Always cross railroad tracks at a right angle. Make sure the bike is perfectly upright and not tilted when crossing, especially if it is wet. If there is any doubt, get off and walk your bike across.

If you have any questions, you can e-mail me directly.

Al Lauland
League Certified Instructor LCI#1396

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