A couple of days ago, I was on a bike ride with my two daughters and son. We were on the right side of the road riding with the flow of traffic like we normally do. We came upon an elderly man who was walking on the same side as us but against the flow of traffic. He was one of those walkers who carries a big stick around when walking…yeah, you know the type.
Well, he begins yelling at us to get on the left side of the road against traffic. I politely said, “No sir, we are supposed to ride with the flow of traffic. He began angrily waiving his hiking stick around telling me why I was wrong. I told my kids just to continue what they were doing and ride on.
During the remainder of our ride, I began questioning whether I was right or if the old man was right. So I looked it up and here is what I found about that particular topic as well as few other major bicycle road rules & suggestions.
Always Ride With the Direction of Traffic on the Same Side of the Road. For some reason, there has been a misconception for years that you should ride against the flow of traffic. That is incorrect. You should always ride in the same direction as traffic.
Ride on the Road. Do Not Ride on the Sidewalks. That’s right, adult riders should not ride on the sidewalks. Drivers are scanning the roads to make sure they are clear, not sidewalks. If you are riding on the sidewalk, you must act like a pedestrian and follow all pedestrian signs, not traffic signals.
Ride in the Middle of the Lane. If the lane is not big enough to share for both a car and bicycle, you ride in the middle of the lane. This makes you more visible and prevents drivers from thinking they have enough room to squeeze by you.
Be Respectful. As a bicycler, you expect respect from drivers, so you must in turn respect drivers. Offer friendly waves when drivers respect your road space.
Communicate With Drivers. By letting drivers know your intentions while on the road, your rides will be safer. If you will be turning left or right, let the drivers know with a simple arm signal.
Wear a Helmet. While this is not law in many states, it is common sense. A bicycle wreck can happen expectantly from sand or rocks in the road, a stray dog, a pothole, uneven surfaces, or any number of road hazards. It only takes the right (or wrong) blow to your head to cause permanent brain damage. Helmets ARE cool!
Turn Left From Left Turn Lanes. Follow the flow of intersections just as if you were in a car.
Overall, bicyclists should basically follow the rules of road and use common sense. Stay alert and respect traffic. Biking is a great form of exercise and it can be a lot of fun! Below are a few bike promotional product ideas for your next bike event or bicycle safety campaign.
References: Florida Bicycle Association
Bike Safety Promotional Items