The world of cycling can be a bit daunting to enter for those who haven’t spent much time in the saddle. But with the increasing popularity of cycling as a sport and mode of transportation, it’s important to be familiar with the basics of cycling etiquette. Whether you’re cycling alone or in a group, there are some unspoken rules that can help keep you safe and in-the-know. Here are some of the most important tips for cycling etiquette.
1. Communicate using signals
Communication is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe while cycling with others and around cars. Make sure to let others know your intentions by using hand signals or calling out. This includes when you’re turning, slowing down, or passing someone. If you’re in a group, it’s also important to communicate with each other about any obstacles (i.e. potholes) on the road or changes in pace. You can communicate about where cars are with other riders by using “car up” or “car back,” depending on whether the car is coming towards you or from behind you.
2. Stay predictable
Being predictable is crucial when cycling, as it allows other cyclists and cars to anticipate your movements. Try to maintain a steady speed and avoid sudden movements or changes in direction to avoid any collisions.
3. Be aware of your surroundings
It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings when cycling. This means keeping an eye out for other cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles on the road. When cycling in a group, make sure to stay in a formation that allows for visibility and easy communication with other cyclists. Some states don’t allow cyclists to ride 2 across, so check your local laws and make sure to follow traffic laws. Avoid wearing earbuds in order to be able to hear what’s going on around you.
4. Respect other cyclists and pedestrians
Respecting others while cycling can help avoid unnecessary danger. Make sure to give other cyclists and pedestrians enough space when passing them, and avoid cutting in front of them. Additionally, avoid creating unnecessary noise or litter.
5. Be prepared
Being prepared for your ride means dressing appropriately, having enough food and water, and having the right gear. Wear bright, visible clothing and gear (like our ASPIRE Seven in Hi-Viz Yellow) to increase your visibility on the road, and wear a helmet to protect your head in case of an accident. Make sure you have enough food and water for your entire ride, and check to make sure your gear is dialed before hitting the road or trail. Here’s our list of what to bring with you cycling:
A part of being prepared is knowing your stuff. That means, knowing how to use your gear, how to fix your bike on your ride, knowing your route, and knowing how to navigate using your GPS. There are tons of great videos on YouTube as well as workshops at your local bike shop that can help get you ready to get in the saddle.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re new to cycling or unfamiliar with a route, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Cyclists are generally a friendly bunch and are happy to offer advice or assistance when needed. Additionally, if cycling in a group, you should communicate any issues or concerns to the other cyclists.
7. Leave no trace
Whether you’re cycling on the road or in nature, remember to respect the environment by leaving no trace. This means packing out all your trash and being mindful of the impact your cycling may have on the environment around you.
Knowing these spoken and unspoken rules is an essential aspect of cycling, whether you’re cycling alone or in a group. By following these tips, you can ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, while also enjoying the freedom and excitement that cycling has to offer.
We had the chance to sit down with Eric Hill, founder and president ofProject Echelon, a 501c3 veterans non-profit that engages, equips, educates, and empowers veterans and their families through physical activity and self-discovery.
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