Whether you’re a beginner or an expert cyclist, here are a few basic rules of the road:
Nobody feels safe around the car that’s swerving, not using signals, and stopping suddenly. Ride as you would drive—as if you were trying to pass a driver’s-license test.
Stick to the Law
In most states, bikes are considered vehicles. When riding in the road, always signal, make complete stops at signs, and wait for red lights for your turn to ride through.
Ride to the Right
If there’s no shoulder on a two-way street, it’s always safer to stay a couple of feet out into the road. You’ll be visible and force cars behind you to move into the oncoming lane to pass you.
… Except When Turning Left
For this move, you’ll want to move from the right to the middle of the lane or merge into the left-turn lane if there is one. Check over your left shoulder for oncoming traffic and signal left before moving over.
Stay off Sidewalks
Lousy sight lines and people entering or exiting doorways and driveways make riding on sidewalks an accident waiting to happen. If you have to, and the city permits it, ride no faster than 6 to 8 mph—the speed most people jog.
Published in July 2014 issue of Bicycling magazine.