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Safe Cycling Basics


85% of car bike collisions occur in intersections and when turning

Source: League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling Manual

General Rules for the road:

Follow the Law:

o Your safety and the perception of bicyclists depend on you. 

o You have the same rights and duties as drivers. 

o Obey traffic signals and stop signs (‘Idaho Stop’) 

o Ride with traffic, use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

Be Predictable

o Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. 

o Ride in a straight line, don’t swerve between parked cars. 

o Signal turns and check behind you well before making a turn or changing lanes.

Be Conspicuous 

o Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. 

o Use a front white light, rear red light and reflectors. 

o Make eye contact with road users and avoid riding on sidewalks.

Think Ahead

o Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes do next. 

o Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone. 

o Look for debris, potholes, and other road hazards.Ride Ready o Before you ride, do your ABC Quick Check. 

o Carry tools and supplies appropriate for the ride. 

o Wear a helmet.

The ABC Quick check

Air. Breaks, Cranks, Chain, Cassette, Quick Release, Check Over

A = Air

o Inflate tires to rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire. 

o Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure. 

o Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace if damaged.

B = Brakes

o Inspect pads for wear; replace is there is less than a 1/4 inch of pad left. 

o Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub tire or dive into spokes. 

o Check brake lever travel; at least 1 inch between bar and lever when applied.

C = Cranks, Chain and Cassette

o Make sure that your crank bolts are tight 

o Check your chain for wear. Does it need lube? 

o If your chain skips on your cassette, you might need a new one or just anadjustment.

QUICK = Quick Release 

o Hubs need to be tight in the frame, quick release should engage at 90°. 

o Your hub quick release should point back to insure that nothing catches on it. 

o Inspect brake quick releases to insure that they have been re-engaged.

CHECK = Check Over

o Take a quick ride to check if shifting and brakes are working properly. 

o Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them. Pay extra attention to your bike during the first few miles of the ride.

utah bicycle laws

•Your bicycle is considered a vehicle. You have the same rights and are subject to the same provisions as the operator of any other vehicle (e.g. obeying traffic signals, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, stopping for school buses) with the addition of a few provisions. 

• A rider of an electric bicycle is subject to the same provisions. They might be subject to specific local ordinances. 

• Motorists may not pass within 3-feet of a moving bicycle. They may cross the centerline to pass. 

• Ride with traffic and as far to the right as practicable. Use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

• Ride no more than two abreast, and only when not impeding traffic

• Always signal your intention when traveling right or left. 

• Yield to pedestrians and give audible signals when passing. 

• You must have at least one hand at the handle bar at all times. 

• When riding at night, you are required to have a white front light, a red rear light or reflector, and side reflectors. 

• You must have functioning brakes. 

• ‘Idaho Stop’: approaching a stop sign, you must yield to pedestrians and traffic, but you are not obliged to come to a full stop

For more detailed information visit: Bike Utah- Utah Bicycle Laws