RULES OF THE ROAD
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Top 5 Tips for Riding in Pacelines & Echelons
- Start off by riding between 6-12 inches behind the rider in front of you. Be sure not to overlap wheels. If another rider is behind you, do not brake unexpectedly.
- For a single paceline, the lead rider maintains a constant speed, pulls off and the drifts to the back of the group.
- For a double paceline, two lines of riders ride side-by-side and the rotation occurs when the lead riders simultaneously pull off to their respective sides
- A rotating paceline occurs when riders rotate in a circular fashion. One line of riders moves forward while the other line drifts backwards.
- If the wind is from the side, your rotating paceline will become an echelon and requires riders to overlap wheels with the riders in front of them.
Intersections + Ramps
Top 5 Tips for Intersections + Ramps
- If you are traveling straight through an intersection be sure you are in the lane that goes straight through. If there is a right turn only lane avoid blocking the turn lane.
- When there is no bike box, queue up in traffic and position yourself in front of the lead car or just slightly to their right but within their field of vision.
- Always look for drivers making left hand turns across your path, especially at intersections. Don’t assume a driver will yield to you, or that they even see you.
- If you are turning left, it is legal for you to turn from a left turn lane, just like drivers do.
- To safely cross a highway ramp, look back and make eye contact with any approaching drivers. Then, prior to crossing the ramp, signal appropriately and cross only when you see a safe opening in traffic.
Advice for Drivers
7 Tips for Drivers – How to Drive With & Around Cyclists
- Cyclists are only required to ride as close to the right as is safe. Often times the road surface and traffic conditions look different to a cyclist than they do to someone in a car.
- It is legal for cyclists to move from the right into the lane to avoid hazards like glass, potholes and other debris, so be patient.
- When passing a cyclist slow to a safe speed and give at least 3 feet, or more, of room to their side when overtaking them.
- Do not speed past a cyclist in an effort to make an upcoming turn. It is easy to misjudge how fast cyclists are traveling and you may violate their right of way and injure them.
- When making a turn or entering the roadway from a driveway or parking spot, use your turn signals. Even if you don’t see a cyclist, the cyclist will see you.
- Don’t harass cyclists; it’s illegal and unsafe.
- And, please, don’t text while driving. It’s not safe for anybody.
Top 5 Tips for Passing Cars, Cyclists & Pedestrians
- When passing a single car or a line of cars, make sure it is clear behind you. Once you’ve done that, signal your turn and make the pass at a safe distance.
- Always pass to the left of a cyclist. If you pass on the right you could cause an unnecessary collision putting you at fault.
- Announce your pass with an audible signal. A simple, “on your left” or “passing” will suffice.
- When passing a pedestrian, remember the pedestrian has the right of way. Give them sufficient room. Do not ‘buzz’ them. And if possible give an audible signal BEFORE you reach them.
- On Multiple Use Paths you may encounter pets on leashes, children and elderly pedestrians. On these paths, you are the heaviest, fastest vehicles and have a duty to be careful around them. Remember; treat others in the same way that you want to be treated.
Top 5 Tips for Cornering
- To set up your turn, look ahead and pick your line. Move to the outside of the lane before you turn, dive to the inside (or apex) and then drift back to the outside of the lane as you exit your turn.
- It’s important to look where you want to go. Wherever your eyes and head go your body will normally follow.
- If you need to slow your speed to make the turn, you should brake before you start your turn, not during the turn.
- As you approach the turn, keep your outside pedal down and weighted, inside pedal up. Lower your center of gravity by shifting your weight from the saddle to the outside pedal.
- To improve your cornering, focus on counter-steering by putting downward pressure on your hand on the inside of the turn.
Top 5 Tips for Riding in a Group
- Move steadily and gradually within the group—no erratic moves, no sudden braking.
- Use hand signals to warn other riders of road hazards.
- Never overlap wheels. A sudden movement by the rider in front can quickly cause a crash.
- While riding “on the front”, match the pace of your fellow rider. Never “half-wheel”, or ride a pace not suitable for your riding partner.
- Share the road with other traffic, including cars and follow all traffic laws.
Top 5 Tips for Signaling
- Cyclists have a responsibility to signal to others, especially drivers, when making a turn, or a stop.
- Assume that drivers MAY not notice your signal; so be sure you look both ahead AND behind to ensure your signal has been seen before changing direction.
- To signal a left or right turn, point your left/right arm straight to the left/right before beginning your turn.
- To signal a stop, use your left arm, with your hand angled down to the ground.
- If you cannot signal without losing control of the bike, you are not required to signal, such as when there is road debris or if we need to use our hand to brake.
Bike Fit + Maintenance
Top 5 tips for Bike Fit and Maintenance
- Find a frame that has the right length seat tube and top tube. Your local bike shop should have someone on staff that can help you with this.
- Dial in your bike fit by adjusting the saddle angle and height, as well as the stem length and height.
- Have a professional perform a “bike fit” using techniques like The Retul motion capture 3D system.
- Regularly inspect your tires for damage, such as cuts and nicks, and make sure that they are seated properly on the rim.
- Check your wheel quick releases to make sure that your wheels are firmly attached to the bike.
Cycling Car Hazards
Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Car Hazards
- Do not ride in a driver’s blind spot. Ride where they can see you.
- Making eye contact with a driver is an effective way to ensure your safety.
- Ride in the right most lane of traffic that you are headed.
- When riding through intersections, or near driveways, watch for vehicles coming the other direction as they may turn in front of you.
- To avoid getting “doored”: ride outside of the door zone (~3ft/1m), scan parked cars for a driver or passenger exiting, and slow your speed.
Top 5 for Bike Handling and Safety Tips
- To avoid road surface hazards such as sticks & potholes you should practice and perfect a simple (and small) bunny hop jump.
- To come to a safe and legal stop without unclipping, learn how to do a track- stand. Practice this while waiting for friends to show up for your next ride.
- To avoid collisions with motorists, you should know how to make emergency stops and emergency turns.
- When cornering/turning, make sure that your inside pedal is up (at 12 o’clock) and that your outside pedal is down at (6 o’clock). This will ensure proper pressure is kept on your tires.
- When riding in a group be sure to point out hazards, such as cracks and road debris, to alert the riders behind you.
Rights of Cyclists
Top 5 Rights and Responsibilities of Cyclists
- Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities to travel on the roads as cars and motorcycles.
- In many jurisdictions, bicyclists are NOT legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
- Cyclists have the legal responsibility to obey all traffic laws.
- Cyclists have an ethical responsibility to be goodwill ambassadors for the sport.
- To help protect the rights of cyclists consider getting involved with bicycle advocacy organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists – (BikeLeague.org) and People For Bikes (PeopleForBikes.org).
Defusing Road Rage
Top 5 Ways to De-Escalate Road Rage
- Minimize the risk of conflict by following the rules of the road and riding safe and courteously. No running red lights or stop signs.
- Do not initiate conflict, and do not engage in conflict if someone attempts to initiate conflict with you.
- Stay calm if confronted and do not let the other person gain control of your emotions.
- You have the right to defend yourself, but your self-defense must be proportional to the threat, and must end when the other person ceases the attack.
- Be sure to report any violence, attempted violence, or threats of violence to law enforcement authorities to ensure authorities see a pattern of behavior.
Riding in Traffic
Top 5 Tips for Riding in Traffic
- Ride to the right as is safe and comfortable. You are NOT required to ride as close as possible to the curb, parked cars or shoulder if it is unsafe.
- Be aware of your surroundings such as cars, potholes and intersections, and be prepared to make sudden stops.
- Avoid making sudden changes in direction. Ride in a straight and predictable line.
- Obey all traffic laws such as stop signs and traffic lights.
- Use hand/arm signals to alert drivers of stops, turns and changing lanes.