Cycling Tips

Commuting by Bicycle

A popular way to get in shape, save money and help reduce traffic is to commute to work by bicycle. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Commute with a co-worker or two. It can be more fun than going alone and will help you stick with your program until it becomes a routine.
  2. If you have a long commute, you can build up to it by driving part way and riding the rest. A "park and ride" lot is often a convenient place to use as a starting point. Many commuters also ride to a place where they can use mass transportation for the rest of the trip.
  3. Join a bike commuting program or start one where you work. Some companies offer cash incentives or bike gear to employees who commute by bike because it helps reduce congestion in the company parking lot.
  4. Purchase a cycling garment bag or panniers to carry your clothes to work. Some commuters drive to work with a week's worth of clothes on a Monday or Friday to avoid having to carry clothes on their bike every day.
  5. Wear highly visible, reflective bike clothing and attach lights, reflectors and a rearview mirror to your bike. As with driving, be prepared for the unexpected and ride defensively.
  6. Carry a bike tool set and patch kit just in case of a flat tire. The best defense against a flat is keeping your tires properly inflated.
  7. Check your bike's brakes, headset, seat and tires every time you ride to ensure they are in proper working order.

Rules of the Road

  1. Be sure to have reflectors on your bike and wear white or reflective clothing so you are visible to motorists.
  2. Always wear a helmet.
  3. Use a headlight if you are biking at night to increase your visibility.
  4. Make sure you have a working bell or horn on your bicycle.
  5. Do not use headphones when riding a bicycle. They decrease awareness and are illegal for cyclists in many states.
  6. Since a bicycle is considered a vehicle, bicyclists must follow the same rules as motorists. These rules include riding with the flow of traffic, using turning lanes and complying with all traffic signs and lights. Do not ride on the sidewalk.
  7. Give pedestrians the right of way.
  8. Dismount your bike if it is necessary for you to use a crosswalk.
  9. Use bike lanes when possible.
  10. Ride predictably.
  11. Don't swerve or make sudden lane changes or stops.
  12. Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
  13. If you are riding with other cyclists, it is safest to ride single-file or with no more than one rider next to you.
  14. Use proper hand signals before turning or stopping your bicycle.
  15. Be alert. Keep an eye out for vehicles, pedestrians and road hazards such as potholes.

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