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How to Ride a Bike Safely on the Road

Over a half-million cyclists end up in emergency rooms each year. Lower that number by following some rules on how to stay safe while biking on the road.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Put on your helmet and glove Put on your helmet and gloves. Always wear them when riding a bike.
  • Step 2: Ride with the flow of traffic Remember always to ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
  • Step 3: Stay to the right of the lane Stay to the far right of the lane you’re using. You don’t have to ride in the gutter, but cars should be able to pass you on your left.
  • Step 4: Don’t ride on sidewalks Don’t ride on sidewalks. It can surprise pedestrians, and in many places, cycling on the sidewalk is against the law.
  • TIP: Unless posted otherwise, cyclists have a legal right to the road, just like any car. However, many drivers don’t know this. Try not to yell back at them.
  • Step 5: Use hand signals for turns and stops Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops.
  • Step 6: Obey the rules of the road Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws just like any car would.
  • Step 7: Stop completely at red lights and stop signs At stop signs and red lights, come to a complete stop so that you have to put your foot on the ground to keep you upright.
  • Step 8: Choose routes that feature bike lanes Choose routes that feature dedicated bike lanes.
  • Step 9: Wear bright clothing and sunglasses Wear bright clothing to stand out and sunglasses to protect your eyes from bugs, debris and the sun.
  • Step 10: Keep your tires inflated Keep your tires properly inflated. An inflated tire is less likely to go flat. And a flat tire can ruin your day.
  • Step 11: Use lights when riding at night If you’re riding at night, mount a light on the back of your bike and a headlight on your handlebars.
  • FACT: Thirty-six states, plus the District of Columbia, have mandatory helmet laws.

You Will Need

  • A bike with working brakes
  • A bicycle helmet
  • A pair of bike gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Knowledge of traffic laws

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