National Bike to Work Day Do's and Don'ts
With summer just a month away, there is no better way to celebrate the warmer weather than a bicycle ride. The perfect opportunity to dust off your bike and take it out for a spin is National Bike to Work Day on May 19.
Here at Edgar Snyder & Associates, we are dedicated to keeping the roads safe for cyclists. So if you plan to participate in National Bike to Work Day, here are some do's and don'ts for your two-wheeled commute.
- Don't forget to freshen up on Pennsylvania bicycle safety laws. Know your rights on the road to keep yourself and others safe.
- Don't disregard hand signals. To signal a left turn, point your left arm straight out to your side. To signal a right turn, point your right arm straight out to your side. To signal a stop, bend your left arm down towards the ground in an upside-down "L" shape. Hand signals are the best way for you to communicate to other motorists your intent to turn or stop. Make eye contact to ensure they see you, and never assume that drivers are aware of you on the road.
- Don't ignore your surroundings. Be aware of cars, other bikers, and pedestrians at all times.
- Don't ride to work without first checking that your bicycle is functioning properly. If your bicycle has been sitting in the garage all winter—or longer—take it out for a test ride before May 19. Make sure your wheels are full of air and your brakes, chains, bells, and other parts are all working properly.
- Share the road. Drivers must allow at least 4 feet between their vehicle and your bicycle when passing, but you also have a role in keeping the roads safe. If you are riding slower than the speed limit, try to stay as far right as you safely can. Remember that you may use any portion of the lane to avoid hazards, and you should be careful not to pass too close to parked cars in case a door suddenly swings open.
- Dress accordingly. Avoid loose clothing, and tie back your pant legs if they are too loose. Wear closed-toe shoes when bicycling to work—it is okay to wear sneakers and change into more work-appropriate shoes when you reach your destination. Remember to wear reflective gear, especially if you will be commuting in the dark. And make sure you have a bike light!
- Wear a helmet! According to studies, wearing a helmet could reduce bicycle injuries by 85 percent.
- Enjoy the ride!
For more bicycle safety information, visit our online safety resource center.