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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bike etiquette: five simple steps to keep everyone from hating you

    It’s getting nicer out by the minute, and with gorgeous weather comes the insatiable need to get outside and enjoy it while it lasts. For some, this means putting two wheels to the pavement and going on a bike ride.  But for the bikers among us, here are some tips to keep yourself out of trouble and keep people from yelling at you in aggravation. It’s not hard to learn, but it’s really easy to ignore these simple rules.

    Bike etiquette is simple but powerful — inform yourself.


    1. Follow laws.

    You’re probably not going to read all the laws on biking before you head out on your bike, but here’s a couple of tips:

    — Stop at stop signs. Yield right-of-way to cars or bikes on your right and anyone before you, and always yield to pedestrians at a stop sign.

    — Bike in the bike lane or street. Biking on the sidewalk is illegal.

    — Use a front light when it gets dark out — there’s a huge ticket waiting for you if you get pulled over without one.


    2. Pay attention.

    We’ve all been guilty of it, but try to keep an eye out. This seems obvious but avoid distractions such as listening to your iPod and picking up phone calls unless you can keep an eye out at the same time to look out for those around you.


    3. Use hand signals.

    It’s so easy to use a hand signal and prevent an accident. When you’re turning left, point your arm to the left. When you’re turning right, point your arm to the right. You can also point your left arm up to signal a right turn, and point your left arm down to signal you’re slowing down. You might feel cheesy or weird, but you’ll make a lot of people happier, safer and more aware of what you’re doing.


    4. Let people pass you.

    If you’re in the mood for a slow meander down the streets, that’s OK. But just keep to the right or in a straight line so that people can pass you who are zipping along. Riding in a zigzag can be fun, but find a less busy place to live out your childhood dreams than a busy street or thoroughfare.


    5. Be courteous to others if you’re biking in a group.

    It’s fun to bike with a friend, but if the street you’re biking on is really crowded, bike one behind the other. Don’t ride abreast if there’s not room — you’re endangering cars and other bikes around you.

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