The Time To Learn Bicycle
Safety Is
Before You Ride

Bicycle safety rules are, most likely, not news to boomers but it sure never hurts to take a few minutes to review them and can save you a lot on grief in the long run.

  • The primary rule in riding safety is that you should always wear a helmet.
  • Wear bright clothes for enhanced visibility.
  • Use hand signals in traffic. 
  • The accepted hand signal for a left turn is simply pointing left with your left arm.
  • The accepted signal for a right turn is to extend your left arm with your forearm pointed up. I prefer to simply point to the right with my right hand. This, it seems to me, is more obvious to anyone behind me.
  • The signal for stop is to extend your left arm with your forearm pointed down and your palm facing rearward.
  • Always ride single file when riding in a group.
  • Keep in mind that for bicycle safety the same rules of the road apply to bike riders as to drivers. Boomers have been driving for a long time so there should be no mystery here.
  • Whenever you are riding in slow traffic, ride in the middle of the lane.
  • If you want to make a left turn in traffic either do it from the left lane or cross the street in the right lane and then ride, or walk, your bike across to the left side.
  • Do not use a headset or cell phone while riding. This is a problem in a car and could be a much bigger problem on a bike. If you really need to use your cell phone you can pull over and do it safely.
  • Check the traffic behind you often and always before turning left or moving to the left lane. Get a good mirror and use it often.
  • Don't pass on the right. Drivers seldom see you and may turn right in front of ,or worse yet, into you.
  • Make sure your brakes are working properly.This only takes a minute to do before you even leave home.
  • Keep both hands ready to brake. If you use bar ends,don't use them while riding in traffic.
  • Keep alert for hazards like loose gravel, wet leaves, storm grates etc. If you are riding on a path this could also be little kids, roller bladers, or other bikers that are day dreaming.
  • When passing other bikers always say "on your left" in a loud voice so they don't swerve in front of you. If you hear this, and someone is passing you, it is common courtesy to wave them around so they know that you heard them.
  • Another important tip on bicycle safety is when passing parked cars be alert for car doors opening.Do not ride at dusk, or in the dark, without a good light, lots of reflectors, and bright colored clothing.

    We all want to enjoy riding but we need to do it safely.

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