Always wear a helmet
Not only does a helmet protect your brain, but wearing the helmet is overall a smart idea because most helmets have reflective accents that can help you be seen on the road.
Colorful and reflective clothing
Wear what you feel comfortable in for the length of ride you are doing and the type of bike you are riding on. However, it’s a good idea to think about what clothing choices will better assist you in being seen on the road. Be smart about your clothing choices and know that brighter clothes make you more visible. Any type of clothing with reflective accents could serve as a functional and safe addition to your wardrobe. Gloves and shoes also have reflective accents that help you be seen, but are not necessary for every ride.
Lights day and night
Lighting up your bike is always a good idea, day or night. Whether it’s a consistent glow, or a flashing light, either one will help motorists see you better.
Always check tire pressure, brakes, bolts and make sure your drivetrain is working properly before you head out on your ride. Even if it’s only a short trip, getting a flat tire due to improper inflation will slow you down, and could cause a safety hazard. Remember the ABC’s?
The saying is correct: It is better to be safe than sorry. Here are some items you might want to include every ride: Identification, money, a fully charged cell phone, bike lock, sunglasses, sunscreen, extra lights, extra layers of clothing, tube, patch kit, multi-tool, tire levers, CO2 and/or bike pump.
Rules of the road
Be familiar with your local traffic laws. Ride your bike like you are a vehicle and obey all the same traffic laws as a car. However, your area may differ in cyclists laws. Look them up before you go!
Practice makes perfect (or close to)
If you are new to cycling or just bought a new bike, get used to riding on neighborhood roads before heading out into busy streets. Get comfortable with your riding and being aware of what is around you at all times.
Know your go-to routes before you go, that way you don’t have to rely on your phone or a map while you are on your way into work or out for a spin. This could help you avoid heavy traffic areas and the tough routes where it’s just one hill after the other.
No one can read your mind. At all times, signal your intent. It’s beneficial for you and the other drivers or cyclists.
Sometimes you need to move closer into traffic because of numerous reasons. One of them is for parked cars. Give yourself at least 3 feet/ 1 meter between you and a car parked along the street to avoid hitting a car door that suddenly opens.
Stay to the right
When riding with traffic, stay to the right of the lane, but not if it compromises your safety. If the lane is too narrow or your visibility is compromised, try moving towards the center of the lane.
Be aware, believe in yourself and have fun!
Riding in traffic is not the time to think about what you want to eat, or what you’re planning for the weekend. Stay alert and never assume a driver sees you on your bike. Make eye contact with drivers whenever possible. The best way to stay safe on the road is to believe in yourself while riding and have confidence! And never forget to have fun while riding.