10 Must-Know Cycling Road Safety Tips For Your Next Bike Ride
Updated: Aug 12, 2021
We are so passionate about getting more women into cycling and participating in duathlons & triathlons in the Austin area.
Arming you with the rules of the road and general cycling etiquette will assist you with staying stay safe during your training rides and increase your confidence in your group rides.
Whether you’re riding on the trail around the neighborhood or completing a training ride for our Chucks & Pearls 5K/10K & Duathlon Event, the following safety & group riding guidelines will come in handy.
Sharing these rules of the road with you will also make your ride more enjoyable and safer for everyone involved.
Commit to memory these 10 cycling rules of the road. It will literally save your life and keep others safe around you.
10 Safety Rules Cyclist Must-know Before They Ride Out
Complete a quick, pre-ride ABC safety check. A, is for putting air in your tires. B, is for checking your brakes, and C, is for checking your chain and cranks for debris or kinks.
Helmets should we worn on all rides. Even when on the trail or riding on the neighborhood sidewalks.
Just like when driving a car, cyclists are required to obey all traffic laws. Cyclists are expected to observe stops signs, traffic lights and yield to pedestrians. Go with the flow of traffic. If you don't have a bell to alert pedestrians & other cyclists, use audibles & hand signals to indicate your intentions to cars.
Cyclists should use the bike lanes where provided.
Have lights on bike and helmet to be seen by cars. A rear red light is standard.
Wear bright colored clothing with reflective elements; even when riding in daylight.
On open roads or crowded trails, ride single file. Ride side-by-side only when you safely can on the trail or on low-traffic roads.
When riding with a group or on a crowded road/trail - avoid sudden stops & last minute turns.
Music- you can listen to your music, but if you choose to use headphones, utilize only one ear bud.
Carry a repair kit in your bike saddle bag. Spare tubes, CO2 cartridges for air, tire patches, tire levers and a multi-tool are basic items to store in your emergency kit
Group Riding Etiquette For Cyclists
Group rides are a fun new cyclists. Use these tips from our staff to ride safely with others & enjoy riding with a group.
Cyclists, more so than runners, are known to shout to other cyclists (and some times runners) "On Your Left" in efforts to get one's attention on the road while passing. In Group Rides, the pack rely on hand signals, instead of words, to warn riders of potential danger on the roadway.
When riding in a pack, the front cyclist is responsible for giving visual warnings. The warning is then echoed to the back of the pack so everyone is aware of approaching hazards.
It is the responsibility of the front lead rider to warn the cyclists behind them. A series of common hand signals are used to keep the pack safe. Here are the most important hand-signals to commit to memory:
Finger Point Right/Left = there’s a pothole, branch, or some obstacle
Fist balled and in center of back = coming to a stop
Hand down with the palm facing you = group slowing down/coming to a stop
Waving of finger/hand pointing or circling down = watch for debris
Elbow Out = Indicates pass me/your turn to pull/they plan on dropping back
Arms extended = turn direction of the group
It’s crucial to know these hand signals to keep yourself safe when riding in a group to avoid a collision with another cyclist.
For everyone to stay safe, information shared needs to travel to the back of the group. If you are uncomfortable taking a hand off the bars while in a group, its ok to yell/shout the info so the riders near you and behind you can be alerted. You will need to yell out to let the group know about a hazard, change in pace, or nearby vehicle. Call out all pot holes or objects in the road so that the riders behind you can also avoid the obstacle. A simple “car up!” or “car back!” lets others know of coming vehicles.
Casual group rides usually have a set plan, route and pace for the ride that you are expect to follow. Hold your line when in your group not doing so may cause major issues since you are so close to other riders.
It's advisable to sit at the back and ride steady for your first few group rides.
Take the time to get familiar with the route in advance. Knowing what to expect, being prepared, and knowing the anticipated pace will ensure no matter what your skill level, doing a group ride is "wheeely fun🚴♀️."