I’ve been biking to work for the good part of 7 years now and I’ve been cycling for more than 20 years total. In all those years, I would always share the road with other vehicles. Of course, this is especially true when I bike to work. With that, here are some of the most important things to remember when bike commuting and sharing the road with cars, vans, trucks, and more!
Wear A Helmet!
This should go without saying that every time you ride, you should wear a helmet. Some people don’t want to wear it because of different “reasons” like “It doesn’t look good with my get up” or “It won’t matter”. The fact is, IT MATTERS.
You don’t know what will happen to you on the road. Every bit of protection will help when bike commuting.
Keep Right (or left for some)
As a cyclist, stay to the right. Of course, there would be exemptions to this rule but most of the time, keep right. You are not as fast as cars. We ask others to share the road with us, let us return the favor as well by not blocking their way when bike commuting.
Use Proper Signals
Do you know how frustrating it is when a car turns right and almost hits you because they did not use their signal lights? It’s the same for bikes. It is frustrating and extremely dangerous to turn or switch lanes without using the correct signals when bike commuting. Below is a quick illustration of the most important ones to use from the website I love Bicycling.
Remember that you are the most vulnerable vehicle on the road while bike commuting. One small mistake can lead to a crash so stay FOCUSED.
Do NOT Wear Headphones
In relation to the above, do not wear headphones when bike commuting. Not only will this distract you but you will lose your sense of hearing as well which is very important to detect if there are other vehicles near you.
Use Proper Bike Lights
Most of us who bike to work have to do so at night when going home. In these cases, invest in good bike lights for the front and more importantly, the rear of your bike. This will help other vehicles notice you and avoid you on the road when bike commuting.
Ride Like You Are Driving
If you know how to drive then you know the basic rules of the road such as keeping safe distance, using the right lanes, etc. You, as a cyclist, should also follow the same rules. We are using the same roads as cars do in bike commuting so let’s follow the same rules.
Do NOT Race
Bike commuting is not a race. It is not a competition. It is a means to an end which is to get to work and home safely. The keyword there is SAFE. So do not attempt to race others while on the road.
These are very simple rules of bike commuting. Remember them. Learn them by heart. And follow them to keep safe and enjoy biking to work even more!