SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY!!!!
Let’s face it. If we’re on a bicycle and a car bumps into us at even a miniscule speed, we could be toast. Or if a motorist has parked on the side of the road and doesn’t look before swinging their car door wide open we could have a few broken bones from hitting that door. Or…or…or…any number of things pose great risk to us cyclists out on the road. We have to be ever-vigilant in order to stay safe and injury-free.
Here are a few of the rules when riding on AIDS LifeCycle. Bear in mind that on this particular charity ride, if you break the rules you risk being pulled from the ride. Following the rules is paramount, if for no other reason that to keep such a large number of riders safe and sound, but also because every town we ride through requires us to have permits to do so. And if someone breaks the rules, it can put the following years’ ride at risk if any portion of the ride gets a pulled permit.
- Always ride single file. No drafting.
- ALWAYS wear a helmet – NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
- Call out hazards, and any traffic behaviors (such as “Slowing”, “Stopping”, “Grate”, “Car Right/Left/Up/Back”, etc.)
- No passing on the right.
- When passing on the left, call it out – “On your left!” – EVERY time. Even if you’re in a group. Let the rider you’re passing know if you’re the last in a group too. It’s just a kind courtesy, especially for newbies.
- Check your bike before getting on – every time. If you’re in the middle of a day of riding, you can probably just do a quick visual inspection after each break/rest stop.
- The same rules of the road apply to cyclists as to motorists. Stop at all stop signs – that means one foot down for a count of 3. You can be ticketed by a local municipality for not following the rules of the road.
- No headphones or radios blasting from anywhere on your bike. If you can’t hear the environment around you, you risk missing something important and being a hazard to yourself and other riders.
- Eat before you’re hungry.
- Drink before you’re thirsty.
- PEE PEE PEE
Ok, those last few weren’t so much bicycle safety as health/common sense.
These sorts of rides are not professional races. As such, there is no peloton, and there are no road closures that allow you to just rush through, ignoring traffic laws.
What other rules are important?