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Bike Manners

Proper rules for being a courteous cyclist and friendly motorist.

By
Adam Lowe

We’re very pleased to welcome guest writer Trent Armstrong to our show, who will help us out today with tips for being a safer and more polite cyclist.

Cycling. This delicate dance of wind and gears would be beautiful if we didn't have to share the road with big, gas guzzling cars. And when we were children, it was possible to avoid the motorways altogether. But most cities in the United States consider bicycles to be roadway transportation and cycling on sidewalks a potential hazard to pedestrians. Therefore, it's essential to make certain that we all know the proper rules for being a courteous cyclist ,and alternatively for being a friendly motorist.

Rules Are Rules

First and foremost, cyclists MUST follow the rules of traffic as laid out by their state and local authorities including wearing a helmet. Motorists must follow these rules too, but that's not why we're here. There is, however, one exception to the law, which I will detail shortly, but the important take-away here is, being a cyclist on the roadway does not afford you any special privileges. In short, being in the road and on a bike does not make you special-- and it certainly doesn't make you invincible, so do you your research to ensure you can follow safe cycling habits.

Bikes on Sidewalks

Most city laws allow only small children who are learning to ride to actually do so on the sidewalk. So remember that in most places, sidewalks should be left to pedestrians.

Bikes' Place on the Road

So now that you've been relegated to the road, let's start with where to ride. Always ride WITH the flow of traffic, and just as slower traffic must remain to the right, cyclists must do so as well. That usually ends up being the right third of the far right lane unless the cyclist is making a left turn. While riding in the right lane, please take care and stay at least three feet to the left of any parked car.

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About the Author

Adam Lowe
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