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The 4 Best Rules for Beginning Cyclists

Posted by Kaitlin Benz on

The 4 Best Rules for Beginning Cyclists

Kaitlin Benz

 

    Just like driving, there are many basic rules of the road that make cycling much more safe and comfortable. These rules are all relatively basic that any beginner rider should be able to quickly catch on to and incorporate into all of their rides for years to come.

Always be nice

    This one should go without saying, but it is always kind to acknowledge others on the road or on the trail when cycling. Whether that be through a simple head nod, a wave, or saying hello to those you pass, it is friendly and makes the ride so much nicer. If you’re so focused on the ride that you forget, that is okay, but if someone else passes by and says hello to you, it is nicest to say it right back to them.

Let others know when you’re passing

    If you are looking to pass another rider, or runners and walkers on the trail, it’s common courtesy to let them know that you’re about to pass so that they move out of your way and so that you don’t startle them. This is as simple as ringing the bell on your bike if you have one, or saying, “passing you on your left,” clearly and audibly before you pass by them.

Mentally Preparing Your child To Ride Without Training Wheels

Obey the rules of the road

    If you choose to drive on the street, the expectation is that you obey all traffic rules as if you were a vehicle on the road. This is primarily for safety purposes, but it is also just a kind thing to do. You should never take advantage of the fact that you can fit in more places and weave through traffic or blow through red lights because no one is coming from the other direction. Being on the road means you are equivalent to a car, and you should act like one so that you stay safe and cars know what to expect driving next to a cyclist.

Know basic hand signaling

    Hand signaling is important for cycling safety because often times cars, pedestrians, and fellow cyclists cannot hear you if you tell them the direction you’re turning. Basic hand signaling is essentially a language between cyclists to let each other know what everyone else on the road is doing to prevent crashes. One of the most important signals is the stop signal, which is indicated by putting your hand behind your back and making a fist. This is important because it prevents a pile up crash by letting everyone behind you know to slow down. Extending your arm to the side of you (left arm for a left turn, right arm for a right turn) is the most basic way of telling others that you intend on turning. This should be done at least 20 feet before making the turn, allowing fellow cyclists and cars to have enough time to acknowledge the turn.

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