Knowing the rules of the road is crucial to keep you and the rest of your squad safe
Follow these rules of the road every time you ride and to stay safe during your training for your upcoming triathlon!
9 must-know safety tips for your next ride
Stay safe during your training rides by knowing the rules of the road. Whether you’re riding to lunch with co-workers around the block or completing a long training ride for Kerrville Triathlon Festival, the following group riding guidelines will come in handy. Knowing these rules of the road will also make the ride more enjoyable and safer for everyone involved. Memorize these 9 Rules of the Road to cover your butt and keep you safe.
- Complete a quick, pre-ride safety check.
- Obey all traffic laws. Here are a few examples: Yield to pedestrians, use the bike lane, use hand signals, and watch out for traffic lights! Just like in a car, the same rules apply when riding a bike. Do not run red lights!
- Operate bike in such a manner as to not offend or endanger motorists, pedestrians, etc.
- Wear a helmet for safety (and be a good model for children).
- Activate all lights on bikes.
- Wear reflective gear that makes the group more visible, even in the daytime.
- Ride single file when you’re with others except in areas where it is safe to ride side-by-side.
- Avoid slowing down abruptly or making any other sudden moves.
- Ask experienced riders questions when you’re not sure what is occurring.
Important hand signals
On your left! You’ve probably experienced fellow cyclists shouting at you in efforts to get your attention on the road. But, hand signals, instead of words, are used to warn riders of potential danger on the roadway. Especially when riding in a pack, the only cyclist who has enough visual warning is the front cyclist. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the lead rider to warn the cyclists behind them. If the lead cyclist (or the cyclist in front of you):
- shakes their hand to the right = there’s a pothole, branch, or some obstacle to the right
- shakes their hand to the left = there’s an obstacle to the left
- puts hand behind their posterior = follow right behind them as there might be obstacles on both sides
- puts right hand down with the flat of the hand facing you = lead cyclist is slowing down or coming to a stop
It’s crucial to know these hand signals to keep yourself safe when riding alone to avoid a collision with another cyclist. Last but not least, being aware of your surroundings is essential to keep yourself safe during a ride. Be on the lookout and apply these rules of the road to keep yourself safe next time you go for a ride.