Preparation, training and common sense are what make bicycling safe. Whether you are new to cycling or an experienced rider, knowing these safety rules and tips will make everyone’s ride safer and more enjoyable.
Guidelines for Bicycles Unlimited Events:
- All riders must wear helmets.
- The use of time-trial or aerobars in a pack is not allowed for safety reasons. (Aerobars are allowed to be attached to your bike and used while riding alone).
- Never wear headphones while riding.
- Set a good example for other cyclists and road/trail users: be safe and courteous.
- The use of foul language, aggressive/dangerous riding, and/or discourtesy to other participants or observers is not allowed.
- Bring water, a snack, and tire repair items. (If you don’t know how to repair a tire, let us know!)
Rules of the Road:
- When you ride a bike in traffic, you have the same rights and responsibilities as the driver of an automobile.
- Ride on the right, with traffic, a couple of feet from the edge.
- Ride in a straight line, don’t weave. Always look before turning or moving out of line.
- When passing another rider:
- Look back to be sure it is clear
- Signal your intentions to those behind you.
- When passing another cyclist, yell “ON YOUR LEFT”.
- If you hear someone calling out “On your left”, do not turn around! Hold steady and ride straight.
- Point out hazards to your fellow cyclists following you by pointing.
- Keep clear of road-edge hazards such as trash, drains, sand and parked vehicles.
- Cross railroad tracks at a right angle; be aware of tracks that should not be crossed.
- Talk to your fellow cyclists. Let them know “CAR BACK”, “PASSING ON YOUR LEFT”, or “STOPPING”.
- When stopping to rest, get off the pavement.
- Be aware of these precautions for wet weather riding.
- Ride friendly and defensively.
Dealing with other road users:
- Try to make eye contact with drivers at stop signs or before turning.
- Warn automobile traffic when stopping or turning by giving appropriate hand signals.
- Don’t draft behind motor vehicles.
On a straight stretch of road with little traffic, motorists can easily and safely change lanes to overtake a cyclist. On a narrow road or with heavier traffic, be courteous! When possible, pull into a single line well before cars reach you. Call out, “CAR BACK” to let other cyclists know its time to single up. Never ride two abreast on a hilly or winding road because you must change lane positions frequently according to sight lines and traffic conditions.
When preparing a lane change or turn, YOU ARE YOUR OWN LOOKOUT. Look out for cars, or other bicycles approaching from the rear just the same as when you ride alone. Look left and right for traffic at stop signs—don’t blindly follow the rider ahead of you into an intersection.
Rules of the Trail:
While you don’t encounter cars when mountain biking, other “rules of the trail” apply. Most of these are common sense, but we try to be extra-courteous (if there is such a thing!) to other types of trail users and–especially–land owners. While we pay taxes for the use of public roads, it is the generosity of landowners which makes mountain biking available to us outside of state parks.
- When riding, stay in control and avoid “blind” situations where you could surprise another trail user (pedestrian, horse, small child or black bear!).
- When encountering other bikers, remember you should yield to the person who is riding uphill; step off the trail far enough to provide them safe passage.
- Don’t ride the trails when it’s wet. It ruins them! Don’t trespass or bushwhack.