Amy Harcourt is back for her final post in our bike commute series and she’s just in time to prepare us for Bike to Work Month (typically held in May for most locations). Amy is co-founder of Bikes Make Life Better, a consulting firm that helps leading organizations to develop impactful sustainability initiatives through the use of well-planned and executed bicycle and transportation programs. This week, Amy’s discussing safe biking tips. Check it out below!
You’re physically ready for your bike commute, but still not sure about riding with traffic. Welcome to the club.
I moved to San Francisco from the Midwest where I had to drive to mail a letter. I arrived here with a bike and no car. And while I was an experienced road cyclist, I was terrified about riding on city streets. I felt kind of dumb, and a bit embarrassed – until I attended a class offered by the bike coalition on safe urban cycling. The class was so helpful at turning me into a confident bike commuter that I decided to get certified to teach others.
In May, I’ll be conducting a Get-Ready-for-Bike-to-Work-Day webinar for Wells Fargo. Here’s a preview. Repeat after me:
Never risk your safety for someone else’s convenience.
- There will be times when motorists will find your presence on the road an inconvenience. They may be in a hurry and not happy about sharing the lane. But don’t ever risk your own safety to try to make it more convenient for anyone else, motorist, fellow cyclist or pedestrian.
Share the Road
- Follow the rules of the road, just like driving a motor vehicle
- Ride predictably, where motorists can see you
- Ride in the same direction as traffic
- Don’t ride on the sidewalk
- Ride a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars
- Avoid the “door zone”
- Use the lane when no bike lane exists
- Use proper lane positioning and take the lane if it feels safest to do so
- Yield to crossing traffic and when changing lanes
- Be prepared for road hazards
- Use the rightmost lane that serves your destination
- Look back and use hand signals for all turns and lane changes
- Follow all traffic signals
- Make eye contact with motorists at four-way stops
- Proceed with caution and confidence
- Consider using crosswalks and be sure to yield to pedestrians
These are just the highlights. If you want to learn more about safely commuting to and from work (or play), be sure to join us on the Bikes Make Life Better blog (http://www.bikesmakelifebetter.com/) to learn more and keep your biking skills sharp.