2009-07-01 / Police Blotter

Tips for safe bike riding

Bicycling can be a healthy and fun way to exercise in the summertime, but it can also be dangerous if proper precautions to ride safely are not taken.

Cyclists compete for the same roads shared by pedestrians, vehicles and other bikers.

Accidents and injuries happen on a regular basis. To avoid possible bicycle hazards, follow these safety tips:

Wear a helmet. For children 14 and under — it's the law. Studies have proven that helmets can reduce head injuries by at least 85 percent. Helmets should fit snugly but comfortably.

Make sure the bike is the right size. Position the seat enough so that the rider's knee is slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest point. Handlebars should be shoulder-width apart.

Check the brakes. Be sure that brakes are working properly.

Be visible at night. Wear light-colored clothing and use a headlight and taillight when riding at night. Make sure safety reflectors are visible to motorists.

Ride in a straight line. Do not weave in and out of traffic.

Handlebars should not be used as a substitute for a seat. Do not give people rides on handlebars or any other part of the bike.

Obey all traffic signs and signals. Be prepared to slow down and yield to vehicles that are preparing to turn.

Think ahead. Identify in advance potential hazards such as potholes or pavement cracks.

Always ride with the flow of traffic, not against it. Use hand signals with the left hand when making turns. When crossing a busy intersection, walk the bike.

Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way.

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