Out and About
• Obey traffic signals and local laws regarding bicycles. Ride on the right, with the flow of traffic, so motorists can see you. Look back frequently to monitor traffic behind you. A rear-view mirror may be helpful, but don’t rely on it totally.
• Use hand signals when changing lanes. When approaching a right-turn-only lane, change lanes before the intersection. Look over your left shoulder before making a left-hand turn.
• Keep a distance of at least 3 to 4 feet from parked cars.
Someone could open a door or emerge suddenly from between vehicles.
• Motorists don’t always signal or obey traffic signs, and they sometimes change their minds about where they’re going. Making eye contact lets you know they’re aware of you.
• Use lights on both the front and back of your bike at dusk or in the dark. Reflectors are not enough and only work if the motorist’s headlights are shining right on you.
What you should do
If your area lacks facilities or services, consider becoming an advocate for community improvements. Scout locations for potential bike lanes, bicycle racks, and other features that would make biking safer and more convenient. Join forces with your local biking group or co-op to document the need for improvements. Your local bike store may help you make these connections.
The Alliance for Biking & Walking is a coalition that includes grassroots biking and walking organizations working to improve their communities. Through training, research, grants and resources the Alliance’s mission is to strengthen these communities by advocating best practices amongst its members.