Always wear your helmet. Always.
Whether it’s an aggressive mountain ride or a leisurely cruise, a helmet is a must – unless you happen to have a spare noggin lying around.
Follow ALL the traffic laws.
The National Uniform Vehicle Code cordially reminds you – your bike is a vehicle. Follow stop signs, traffic lights and traffic laws. And always ride on the right-hand side of the road just like you would with your car (or monster truck as the case may be).
Signal before you make a turn.
Use the proper hand signals to let drivers know where you’re headed and when you’re stopping.
Wear a bright color during the day to help you stand out (we prefer Hawaiian shirts). At night, wear reflective clothing and make sure your bike has suitable reflectors and lighting. The old phrase “lit up like a Christmas tree” totally applies.
Walkers still have the right of way.
Drivers have to slow down for walkers and so do bikers – unless getting sued for t-boning that kindly old lady (whose son happens to be a top-ranked personal injury lawyer) appeals to you.
Leave three feet between you and a parked car.
Car doors, and the absent-minded drivers who open them before checking over their shoulder, are your worst nightmare. Seconded only by drivers who floor it out of their parking spots without looking first. This happens a lot.
Absolute do nots:
- DO NOT “hot dog” on the bike or weave in and out of traffic. Save it for the BMX park, cowboy.
- DO NOT run stop signs. Ever.
- DO NOT hitch rides with moving vehicles. Tagging will only end you up in the ER – and the healthcare system is already taxed enough.
- NEVER ride with more than one person on a bike unless you’re on a tandem (in which case 2 is OK but 3 is not cool).