Last updated on July 26th, 2017 at 09:49 am
I’m always excited for the arrival of summer. Every year I look forward to days at the beach, ice cream, and sunshine. But there’s one thing that tops them all: the Tour de France!
I’ve been a huge fan of cycling for quite a few years and I always look forward to watching this event. But I’m not just a spectator. I also love getting outside on my own bike whenever I can. Sometimes it can be difficult sharing the road between cyclists and motorists, and I should know since I am both a cyclist and a motorist.
If you’re a cyclist:
- Be seen. Bikes are less noticeable than even the smallest of cars. Use lights on the front and back of your bicycle. Also make sure to wear bright clothing with reflective material.
- Stay to the right. Ride on the right side of the road with traffic, never against it. The law states that riders must stay as far to the right as practicable. Not possible, but practicable. Avoid hugging the curb.
- Communicate. Bikes don’t have brake lights or turning signals so it’s up to each rider to communicate their intentions to other vehicles.
- Yield the right-of-way. The same rules that govern the right-of-way for motorists also apply to bicyclists. This includes yielding to pedestrians, school buses, and emergency vehicles, to name a few.
If you’re a motorist or biker:
- Be alert. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as any other driver on the road. Keep an eye out for cyclists in turning lanes, at intersections, and entering the roadway from driveways and parking lots.
- Slow down. Reduce your speed and provide adequate clearance when passing a bicyclist. Three feet is the absolute minimum at slow speeds. Five feet is recommended and trucks should leave even more space.
- Hand off the horn. Loud noises, such as a car horn, may startle a rider and cause them to lose control.
- Park smart. Bike lanes were made for bikes. Parking or blocking a bike lane could cause a serious accident.
Click here for more information about insurance in your state.