For some, riding a bike comes back naturally, and for others may need a little more practice before getting comfortable enough to leave their driveway. Once you are mobile again, you will want to do and explore more.
Since the pandemic hit in 2020, bicycle and electric bike/trike use has increased by 253%. More and more people are outside exercising, socializing (at a distance), and exploring their neighborhoods, trails, and parks. With this increase, it's important that you learn bicycle safety and the rules of the road.
The People For Bikes have created this short video to show you how to safely ride your electric bike and trike and share the roads and trails.
[People for Bikes logo with music playing in the background]
Freddy Mercury once famously sang, “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike,” smart guy because riding bikes and that includes electric bicycles is not only a fantastic and fun form of exercise, but it also has a whole host of benefits, including increased mobility to many groups who cannot access a car or other forms of transportation, a huge reduction in your carbon footprint, which is a priority to so many of us these days and of course a bunch of mental and physical health benefits.
No wonder bicycle use has increased by 253% since the pandemic hit in 2020. So, with more of us on bikes and more of us planning to get in the saddle. We thought we’d take a few minutes, honest, it will go by quick. On to how to safely ride your bike and share the road and trails.
Number one, Preparation. First things first, you need to make sure that your bike is ready to hit the road. Check the brakes and tires. If your bike is electric, make sure that the battery is fully charged and stored safely, but remember no overnight charging, please. You should know class of your bike, and of course safety gear like helmets, reflexive clothing, lights and bike and tire reflectors are essential and critical at night.
Number two, Rules of the Road. You may not have to pass a test to ride a bike but knowing how to ride and following the rules is very important. When riding in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. Make sure you signal to show your intentions to all other road users. Left, right, slow down, stop and always look before you turn. Use a bell, to inform people, “On your left!” when passing and give extra warning to dog walkers, to give them time to prepare.
Number three, Go with the Flow. Some bike riders think they should go against the flow of traffic like pedestrians, this is dangerous. You must always go with the flow of traffic. Make sure you pay close attention to parked cars, give them a wide berth. Watch your speed, especially if you are on an electric bicycle, not only is it dangerous to go too fast, you can actually get a speeding ticket on a bike and slow down when you are on congested paths and bikeways.
Number four, Be Prepared, Be Predictable. First never leave a bike ride without everything you need. That means your safety gear, lights for nighttime riding, a pump, a bike lock and even water. Be predictable, that means everyone on the road knows what your intentions are. Don’t weave in and out of traffic, make sure you use your arm signals, and don’t make sudden stops for no reasons.
Number five, Have Fun! When all said and done, riding any kind of bicycle is an enjoyable way to get out and about. Whether it’s going to work, getting exercise, or just hitting the trails and bike paths. It’s a great way to enjoy the fresh air and stay healthy.
Now and we mean this in the nicest possible way, ON YOUR BIKE!
[Music trails off – people for bikes logo and peopleforbikes.org fade to black]