Go Play: Rules of the road for cyclists & cars
WHAT: Bike to Work Day breakfast
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25, 6:30-9 a.m.
WHERE: Palisade Plaza, Grand Junction City Hall, Doubletree on Horizon Drive, Fruita Recreation Center
Save some gas, take in the fresh air, maybe lose a little weight … All you need to do is hop on your bike just a few times (as a commute to work or for errands).
During the month of June, cyclists hit the road to celebrate Bike To Work month throughout Colorado. But not all cyclists (and motorists) know the rules of the road for folks trekking on two wheels.
“The easiest way to describe it for bikers is you are a vehicle of the road,” Biz Collins, a commuter and advocate for safe cycling, said. “You drive your bike like you drive your car.”
Plus, drivers should keep in mind that cyclists are people, too, not just objects in the road, and vice versa.
“It could be your mom, sister, or daughter out there you’re getting mad at,” Collins noted.
NEW TO COMMUTING?
Plan ahead when traveling by bike for the best experience. The day before, bring a change of clothes and toiletries to work so less is carried on the ride.
Practice turn signals and looking for cars (by turning your head and with mirrors).
Here’s something else to keep in mind. Bike routes aren’t usually the same routes you take by car. Collins suggests that new cyclists take slower, safer roads and signed bike routes with specific lanes. She also suggests a “pre-ride” of the route, so time and mileage isn’t a surprise.
Need a few extra items on your ride? Use saddlebags for groceries or extra clothes.
And newbies shouldn’t feel like they need to bike daily.
“Once a week, or even once a month, can help [folks] get in the habit of biking more,” Collins said.
CYCLIST RULES & TIPS
Go with the flow of traffic, not against it.
Be in the right lane unless preparing for a left turn or avoiding hazards.
Ride in a straight line and be predictable. If an object is in the road, swerve minimally.
Two bikes abreast on the road is legal, but single file is suggested to not impede traffic.
Wear a helmet to protect the noggin and brightly colored shirts for better visibility.
Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.
Use signals for turning and stopping. It’s as simple as pointing a finger left or right. Put a hand towards the ground if stopping.
Never assume motorists see you; make eye contact and acknowledge motorists.
Wave and thank motorists as they pass safely.
If riding at dusk, dawn or dark, use lights for more visibility.
Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks. Give them space.
MOTORIST RULES & TIPS
Give cyclists at least 3 feet of room while passing. Passing in a double-yellow line is legal as long as it’s clear on the other side.
Treat bicyclists as motorists. At four-way stops, follow the right-of-way rules.
Slow down while passing and be courteous; be sure that it is safe to pass.
Don’t get angry while passing bikers.
Be aware of surroundings, especially at corners. Motorists, take note that cyclist may take up a whole lane if they want to.
Make eye contact with cyclists and acknowledge them.
Remember cyclists are slower than your car, so when the time comes get ahead of them safely.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
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