Tips for a safe ride

  Ride safe!

  • Make sure your bicycle is road-worthy.
  • Do the 5BBC 2-minute bike check.
  • Give the door 4. Ride at least 4 ft. from car doors. Dooring is the most common cause of serious cyclist injury in NYC.

You have the rights of a vehicle. Ride like one.

  • Ride in the direction of traffic, not against it.
  • If there is a marked bike lane, use it – except as limited by doors of parked cars (see above) or other hazards.
  • Your next choice would be the right road shoulder. However, shoulders are often too narrow or have broken pavement, potholes, debris, parked cars, and opening car doors.
  • If there is no bike lane, and the road shoulder is unsafe, then you belong in a travel lane. Use the rightmost travel lane of a multilane road. Stay on the right side of the lane except on multilane roads when the lane is too narrow for you to be safely passed by a motor vehicle. In that case, "take the lane" by riding near the center of it. Also see applicable NYS traffic law.
  • At an intersection, avoid the right-turn-only lane unless you are making a right turn.

Be visible.

  • A motorist who sees you is less likely to hit you, although he is probably less concerned with your life than with his car's paint job.
  • Riding in a lane (see above) makes you more visible than riding on the road shoulder.
  • At night, wear bright or reflective clothing and please use lights front and rear. And if you are on a recumbent, be sure to hoist a flag.

Ride straight.

  • You present less of a hazard when your actions are predictable.
  • Ride in as straight a line as possible, consistent with road conditions.
  • When riding single file in a group, stay directly behind the bike in front of you.
  • Use bicycle hand signals. The most important hand signals are left turn, right turn, and stopping.
  • Be aware of traffic regulations. Observe stop signs and red lights, don't ride on the left side of a 2-way street, and ride single-file when there's only 1 travel lane going in your direction. Single-file riding is required in NJ.
  • Wear your helmet.

Check out the League of American Bicyclists' Ride Better Tips.