How to ride a bike in traffic
Riding a bike can be one of the most liberating things you can ever do in your life. The bike becomes an extension of you, a part of you when your riding and it allows you to do many thing beyond the physical limitations of the human body.
Do you want to go outside and ride a bike? Are you trying to teach someone else? Many adults never got the chance to learn how to ride a bike and many kids wants to learn. There’s no reason to be embarrassed. Instead, get eager to start one of the healthy, most environmental friendly, and most satisfying forms of self-transportation possible. It requires preparation, technique, and a little falling, but anyone can learn how to ride a bike.
Sharing roads with cars, SUVs and trucks is a fact of bicycle life. Legally speaking, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as cars, but cyclists are often regarded as second-class citizens on the road.
Cyclists should obey all the same traffic regulations as drivers, but must mix with larger, faster vehicles (and sometimes impatient people driving them). Here’s our street smart guide to becoming smarter and safer cyclists. How to ride a bike in traffic?
1. Obey Basic rules of road
Basic knowledge of bicycle safety
• Wear a bicycle helmet every time you ride.
• Wear bright and eye-catching clothes, preferably with reflective tape or stickers.
• Follow the road rules. Stop at stop signs and lights.
• Follow the traffic flow, not upstream.
• Control riding at any time. Move forward at a safe speed so that you can respond quickly to unexpected situations.
• Give way to pedestrians and other vehicles.
• Do not ride in low light or dark conditions without front and rear bicycle lights and reflectors.
• Keep a safe distance from other riders or vehicles. What is safety? There is enough space for you to react to unexpected things. Typically, your goal is to drive 1 (or more) bike every 5 miles per hour. Keep at least 4 feet from the vehicle.
• Don’t hug the roadside too tightly. Keep a comfortable distance from the edge of the sidewalk.
• Ride in a single file. Most state laws require this. (Note: some states allow cyclists to drive 2 side by side. Do this only on inaccessible roads without traffic. Riding 3 side by side is usually illegal.)
• Do not ride on the sidewalk unless there is no other safe option. At intersections or when leaving or entering the driveway, drivers usually do not see fast-moving cyclists driving on the sidewalk.
• Also, pay attention to cars coming out of the alley. They may not see you.
• Don’t overtake other cyclists on the right.
• Make a sound when needed – use a horn, bell, whistle, or just yell.
• In the case of heavy traffic and slow traffic, it is usually safer to ride in the middle of the lane so that everyone can see you and the car won’t try to squeeze around you.
• On busy streets, do not turn around parked cars or other obstacles. Keep driving in a straight line and pay attention to opening the door.
• Get ready to brake. Place your hand on or near the brake lever to stop quickly.
• Tread hard when passing an intersection.
• If there are 5 or more cars behind you, please pull over and let them pass.
• Always be alert to changes in the surrounding environment.
• Communicate your intentions to drivers and other cyclists as much as possible. Hand signals are used when turning or stopping, but it is assumed that not every driver understands these signals. Watch our video about using gestures.
• Make friendly eye contact with the driver. This helps ensure that the driver understands your intentions.
• There is a blind area when the semi-trailer turns; Avoid riding in blind areas.
• Pay attention to things that may increase (or cause) problems between cyclists and cars, such as bright sunlight, fatigue, darkness and sharp turns on the road.
• Avoid behaviors that may lead to accidents between bicycles, such as too close, poor communication or inattention.
• Be very careful at intersections. Many bicycle accidents happen here.
• Ride confidently in traffic jams. The timid and shaky rider made the driver nervous. Cyclists or groups of cyclists who ride in a respectful and confident manner are more likely to receive additional space and respect.
Cycling on high-speed roads requires extra care. Avoid it if you can, but if you must, follow these rules:
• Keep to the right as far as possible and use paved shoulders as far as possible.
• Always check behind yourself and pay attention to approaching cars. To make this easier, please wear a bicycle helmet or glasses mounted mirror.
• Firmly grasp the handlebar, lower the body to reduce wind resistance, and move to the right as much as possible to prepare for passing vehicles, especially large trucks or other wide vehicles.
• Remember that the wind from passing vehicles often “pulls” cyclists forward to passing vehicles.
Reminder: Drivers look for openings in traffic by poking their heads out of lanes and side streets with limited visibility. When you approach these places, stand on the pedals and try to make eye contact with the driver. If possible, go to the center of the lane and check the escape space on the left just in case. Just because you ride a bicycle does not mean that you will not be summoned for traffic violations. You can reference this rule.
1. Follow the road rules.
2. Be patient
Don’t try to force the process. If you find yourself getting tired or frustrated, take a break and come back to it later. Shorter, more focused practice sessions may be a better approach than trying to do too much all at once.
3.Don’t give up
You may not learn to pedal right away, but with continued practice, you’ll get it. Remember that each time it’s going to get a little bit easier.
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