The law states that a bike must ride as far to the right as "practicable." This means you don't have to hug the curb and run over road hazards. If a lane is too narrow to accommodate both you and another vehicle then take the lane, especially on campus. Always ride in the rightmost lane traveling to your direction. If you need to go straight, stay out of the turn-only lane. This prevents you from merging in and out of traffic.
If you haven't been on a bike in years, you may need to re-adjust the way you see traffic and the road. Outside of a car, things like potholes and road debris are real hazards. Others, looking for/expecting a car, don't see you as well either. Pedestrians, car doors, and other cyclists may suddenly jump out in front of you. What would be a "fender-bender" in a car, can be a serious injury when on a bike. The best way to avoid these hazards is to see them coming, and ride predictably.
More Safety Tips
|The campus speed limit is 15 mph
While slower traffic should ride to the right, the average rider is traveling between 10-15 mph and should not feel pressured to give up their space in the lane for a car that assumes the bike is traveling too slowly.
|Use both hands
Not only does this give you more balance and control, it helps you squeeze both brakes if you have to. In wet conditions give yourself plenty of room and occasionally “bleed” the brakes of any grime or water build-up. Remember your right hand is for your rear brake, not your cell phone.
|Wear a helmet
Use common sense when riding a bike and WEAR A HELMET. Bicycle helmets help save lives and prevent serious injury to a rider’s head. Helmets can be purchased at any local bike shop or at University Health Services for only $10.
|Lights at night
At nighttime bikes might not be seen until it’s too late. The state law requires at least a white light in front with a red reflector or red light in the back. When purchasing these lights remember the brighter the better.
There are a lot of buses on campus that pull to the right-hand side of the road to load and unload passengers. Please be aware of buses and make sure not to pass them or other vehicles on the right-hand side.
|Same rights and same responsibilities
As a cyclist you hold many of the same rights that automobile traffic has, but this also means you have the same responsibilities too. Obeying traffic signs and signaling are all part of riding a bike.
Don’t rely on pedestrians or other vehicles to see you and take driving conditions into consideration. Another good suggestion is to ride predictably so others have an idea of what you are going to do.
|Don’t dip between parked cars
It is courteous to allow a car behind to pass more easily, but when you merge back into traffic you may prove invisible to the next driver.
|Yield to pedestrians
As a vehicle, you should yield to pedestrians. Walk your bike on sidewalks, walkways, and through designated dismount zones.
|Use Turn Signals
Use turn signals to let other vehicles know what you are doing. Make sure that you are visible to traffic while making your signal.