Safe Cycling Practices
Cycling is fun and a great way to exercise. Due to the speeds, close proximity of other riders, the hard road surface, road hazards and especially the presence of cars, you can be injured. There is no way to eliminate all risk of injury but learning certain skills and safety essentials can prevent most crashes and injuries.
Cars can easily kill you. These rules are critical, mandatory and minimize your risk of being killed. No dead riders in this Club.
Many of you already know a lot about the hazards of riding, but we all can improve our knowledge and skills and hopefully prevent an accident. We want every member of our Club to review these most essential safety issues. For a more extensive safety guide, visit http://bicyclesafe.com.
Minimizing Risk of a Crash with a Car
Cars will not always avoid you – YOU must avoid them
- Ride super defensively. Assume every car is a threat.
- Cars do not always obey traffic laws. Stop signs, lights, right-of-way, etc. Almost every time I ride I see at least one car run a stop sign or violate a traffic law.
- Some drivers purposely drive dangerously. They may try to scare you or run you off the road on purpose. Give them room. Do not put yourself in harm's way. Stay off high traffic roads with small shoulders.
- Car drivers often don’t see you. They often will pull out right in front of you or turn right in front of you. Always be ready! This happened to Lisa Reeve recently – her readiness avoided a crash.
- Motorists don’t know bicycle rules. They don’t know what to do when they encounter cyclists. Always be ready!
Cyclists are required to observe all traffic laws
- Travel like you are in a car
- Stop at stop signs and stop lights
- Give and take the right of way as if you were in a car
- Ride on the right side of the road
Be 100 percent sure no cars are coming before you move into a traffic lane
Be aware when making a u-turn or merging into a traffic lane.
Wear bright/reflective clothing and use good front and rear lights at dusk, dawn and night
One of our strongest riders was recently hit by a car at dusk. He only had a very small light.
Wear a helmet at all times
Bob Reeve recently escaped a head injury but smashed his helmet in a crash.
Minimizing Risk of Other Types of Crashes
When riding in a group (peleton), do not overlap your front whell with the other person's back wheel
If the two wheels hit, the rider in the back will crash. This is probably the most common cause of a crash in a pelton or pace-line.
Go slowly on wet corners
Some types of road surfaces are very slippery when wet. One of our members sustained a clavicle fracture in this manner.
Watch for pot-holes, bumps, debris, and other road hazards
In a peleton or pace-line, the riders in front should point out these hazards for the riders behind. They often cannot clearly see the road ahead.
Watch out for dogs
Warn others if dogs are approaching. If you can easily get past the dog, speed up. If you can't, distance yourself from the dog, then slow down to avoid a crash. One of our experienced riders sustained serious injuries, which required ICU care and a week in the hospital, after being taken down by a dog descending a hill at high speed.