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How To 

Cycling Road Safety Guide For Beginners

When it comes to cycling, safety is everything. It's extremely important to know the rules of the road and this guide will give you a rundown of some basics.

1. Equipment
Before you even get in the saddle, make sure your bike is fitted correctly. Your local bike shop is the best place to go for personalization. You can read our bike fit guide here, as well. Always wear a helmet. Wear bright, eye catching colors at all times and reflective gear on cloudy days or dusk-time rides. Always bring your phone with you, along with water and a snack. Also, head to your local bike shop regularly for professional tune-ups. Once or twice a year should suffice.


2. Basics
Never ride on the sidewalk. Learn and use hand signals for turning, etc. Do some research on your local city and state laws regarding cycling, as they tend to vary. Always ride in a straight line to avoid swerving. Remember: the goal is to be as predictable as possible to any given driver zipping by, who might only have you in their sights for 5 seconds. Use bike lanes whenever they are available and be prepared to ride safely when they're not. Choose your routes ahead of time.


3. Traffic
First and foremost: obey all traffic signs at all times. The law considers you to be operating a vehicle and you should behave as such. Stop lights, stop signs, yield signs apply to you, all the time. Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Yield to pedestrians always, as well as other riders and cars when they are passing you. Only pass another rider when it's safe, even if it means having to break your pace and slow down for a few seconds.


4. Passing
Stay as far right as possible, so other riders can pass on your left. When you want to pass somebody, get behind them, wait until an appropriate time, and then call out "On your left!" Once you've given the verbal cue, speed up, pass on the left and then get back to right again once you've passed.

Follow these simple rules, commit them to memory and start slow. And always remember: getting a good workout in is important, but safety is more important.