Cycling Lesson 2

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The Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road

There are sayings like “Leave only footprints and take only memories” that describe how hikers and backpackers are to behave in the wilderness. For cyclists there are more rules to follow.

Yes, the saying does apply to cyclists and you have other rules or laws to follow as well, because you will spend at least part of your time on roads. Cyclists must follow all the laws, the same as cars have to, when riding on the roads. I know it is hard to stop at stop signs and then have to accelerate again, but for everyone’s safety you must follow all laws!

Vehicle laws

Cyclists must follow the same rules as car drivers.

  1. Obey all stop and go lights, stop signs, yield signs, railroad crossing signals and other traffic signs.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Riding against traffic will confuse drivers and make it difficult to be seen at intersections.
  • Stop when leaving an alley or driveway or when crossing a sidewalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks.
  • If there are bike lanes on the roads, you must ride in the bike lane. Bike lanes are dedicated space on the roads for cyclists to ride in. They provide a lane for the cyclists to keep them out of traffic and to insulate the traffic from the cyclist by providing enough space so the two can coexist safely on the road.
  • Lights after dark are required. A white forward facing light and a red rear facing light is required. In addition, reflectors are highly recommended additions for night time and low light level visibility.

Cyclists Rules

  1. Always ride close to the right side of the street. You must stay within 3 feet of the curb or road edge. (You may ride on either the left or right curb on one way streets, but the right curb is safest.)
  • Use care when passing a parked car. Watch for a driver who may be about to leave the parked car.
  • Warn a pedestrian or another biker when passing them. Sound your bell or horn or call out “passing on your left (or right)”. A bike is very quiet. Don’t frighten someone when you approach them from the rear.
  • Signal all turns with correct hand signals.
    • Left turn – LEFT arm straight out.
    • Right turn -LEFT arm straight out, elbow bent with hand pointing up. Check traffic behind and around you before turning. A rear view mirror is a very handy accessory for riding in traffic or touring.
  • Always give a hand signal when slowing down or stopping. LEFT arm straight out – elbow bent with hand pointing down. When riding in a group, you should always warn the other riders before stopping (or slowing down). Besides signaling, all shout “I’m stopping! I’m stopping!” to prevent another cyclist from crashing into you.
  • You have two choices in making a left turn on a two-way street.
    • You can turn as a car would, by checking behind and around you for traffic, giving a hand signal, and moving into position just to the right of the center line. Signal again before turning, obey any stop sign or stop and go light, and yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
  • If traffic is heavy, the safer way to make a left turn is stay close to the right curb. Stop for the stop sign or signal, if there is one. When it is safe, move straight across to the far right curb, and STOP again. Obey any traffic light or sign on this corner and when the road is clear, proceed across the intersection, completing the left turn in the same way you would as if you were walking. In fact, you may feel safer in heavy traffic to just “walk” your bike through a left turn. In either case, always be alert for turning cars.
  • Ride single file at all times, especially in traffic.
  • Never ride two people on a bike or carry anything that is so heavy that it will affect your steering, balance or breaking.
  • Hitching a tow from another vehicle is dangerous and illegal.

In Conclusion: Obey all laws and follow all cyclist safety rules, use common sense, and wear bright clothes for safety while cycling.

Cycling Level 2 Requirements

1 – What are the vehicle laws that cyclist must follow when riding on roads? 2 – Why do cyclist have to ride in single file on roads?

  • – What are bike lanes for?
  • – Why do you have to use hand signal?
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