Bicycle Safety Your Responsibility!

Dale Campbell - Co Editor

At this point, are you asking yourself what you can do ride safely?  Good!  That shows you are starting to consciously think about safety!  But where do we start?  Here are “Five Steps to Riding Better” as suggested by the League of American Bicyclists:

1. Follow the Rules of the Road:  this not only involves obeying the same laws as motorists, such as obeying all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, traffic lights, and lane markings but also recognizing that motorists also have responsibilities to cyclists.  Before you drive your car the next time, take a look at this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=H1t9ZsJ8II8
2. Be Visible:  As cyclists, we normally wear brightly colored clothing (such as those CSCC ort BVBF jerseys that many of us have in our closets).  What else can we do?  At night (and even in the daytime), use a white front light and red rear light to make sure motorists see us on the road.
3. Be Predictable:  Ride in a straight line and don’t make sudden direction changes.  Not only would that potentially create a hazardous situation, but you could also cause drivers to overreact, potentially causing an accident to occur.  Additionally, making eye contact with motorists is also a way to let them know you are there.
4. Anticipate Conflicts:  Think ahead!  Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action.  And, be extra alert at intersections.
5. And, Wear a Helmet:  If you’re participating in a CSCC supported ride, wearing a helmet is mandatory.  But it’s just good common sense, too!  Even if it just a ride down the block to a friend’s house, put that helmet on and keep it positioned low on your forehead. 
SOURCE:  http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/index.php

And, if you’re like me and want to break some bad habits to improve your cycling safety, check out the “Who Shouted Clear?” article, posted on the Twin Cities Bicycling Club website (http://www.biketcbc.org/tips/bt-who_shout_clear.html).  Follow the link at the bottom of the article for several other perspectives about safety from fellow cyclists
BFC Feb 2013 - Vol 6, Issue 1, 1 February 2013

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