Following rules of road increases bicyclists' safety at intersections
Each type of cycling generally has its own etiquette or rules of the road, but when bicyclists use the public roads and right of way, they have a special code to follow: the vehicle code. Here we present the basic legal concepts for cycling and the principles to follow to increase safety.
League of American Bicyclists offers tips for avoiding road hazards
Unfortunately, riding your bike defensively, driving your bike carefully, and following all the rules of the road don’t ensure that you will never be in a tight situation. These maneuvers are important to practice, vital to know, and—it is hoped—never used.
Smart Cycling: Promoting Safety, Fun, Fitness, and the Environment contains information that new or returning cyclists need to know before taking to the road, including basic cycling skills, rules of the road, safety strategies, and maintenance. The book includes a DVD of four videos that can be shown to participants to help them better visualize the skills being taught.
Cycling is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Many people are looking to cycling as the solution to concerns about rising fuel costs, environmental issues, and lack of exercise. Biking to school or work is inexpensive, active, and green, but some children have never learned to ride a bike and many adults haven’t dusted off their bikes in years. These new cyclists need help building their skills before they take to the road. If your school or organization wants to offer bicycle skill and safety classes in your community, Smart Cycling: Promoting Safety, Fun, Fitness, and the Environment is the one resource you will need. In the book, the League of American Bicyclists shares proven instructional strategies that will help you teach cyclists of any age the basics they should know before hopping on a bike.
Smart Cycling: Promoting Safety, Fun, Fitness, and the Environment contains all the information you need to teach new or returning cyclists to take to the road safely and confidently:
Tips on choosing the bike and gear that best fit their needs, whether they’re commuting to school or work or riding for fun on the weekends
An overview of basic cycling skills that all cyclists should know, such as braking, turning, and shifting gears, which serves as essential instruction for new riders or as a refresher for those returning to biking
Coverage of the most common rules of the road as well as information on moving appropriately through traffic, which will help them ride safely and legally
Basic maintenance and quick repairs that will help them keep their bikes in road-ready shape
Safety strategies, avoidance maneuvers, and advice on choosing a route that fits their skill level, commuting, and riding in groups
The book also includes the Enjoy Your Ride DVD, which contains four videos that can be shown to participants to help them better visualize the skills being taught. The first video, Essential Bicycling Skills, is an overview of all of the information covered in the book. Bicycle Safety Tips for Adults focuses on the most important safety skills that adult riders should know. Cyclist’s Eye View uses video from a bike-mounted camera to show the proper techniques for operating a bike confidently in traffic. Kid’s Eye View (included in both English and Spanish) covers safety skills appropriate for children or parents who want to teach their children how to ride a bike.
Cycling is an equal-opportunity adventure. From adults commuting to work and kids riding to school to families exploring the trails that cross their cities, cycling offers everyone a chance to stay active and have fun. They just need help getting started. Take the first step toward making your community healthier, happier, and more bicycle friendly with Smart Cycling.
A resource for physical education teachers, recreation professionals, youth leaders, or others interested in teaching safe cycling; an instructor resource for any organization interested in starting a bike education program in their community. Also, a training manual for those wishing to earn the Traffic Skills 101 certification from the League of American Bicyclists. A good introduction to smart cycling for anyone interested in cycling for fun, fitness, or transportation.
The League of American Bicyclists was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the league to advocate for paved roads. Today, the league’s mission is to promote bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation and to work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. It works to achieve these goals through two programs: the Bicycle Friendly America program and the Smart Cycling program. The Bicycle Friendly America program recognizes communities, states, and businesses nationwide that support the five Es of bicycling: education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation, and encouragement. The Smart Cycling program is the United States’ only nationwide instructor certification program. It teaches basic riding technique, safety skills, and bike maintenance, which allow riders to feel more comfortable on the road.
Andy Clarke is president of the League of American Bicyclists, where he has expanded the league’s Smart Cycling program and developed the Bicycle Friendly America program. He has more than 25 years of experience in cycling advocacy, having worked with the Rails to Trails Conservancy and the Bicycle Federation of America (now the National Center for Bicycling and Walking). He was executive director of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. He also served as a consultant to the Federal Highway Administration and coauthored the Administration’s Bicycle Safety-Related Research Synthesis. From 1993 to 2002, he was on the Bicycle Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, serving as chair for the last three years.
Clarke is a founding member of America Bikes and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. In 2003 he earned the Paul Dudley White Award from the American Heart Association for outstanding contributions to bicycling, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
Clarke’s passion for cycling started when he was growing up in England and has stayed with him through hundreds of thousands of miles of cycling on four continents. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with his wife, Kristen, and his two children, Ashton and Jacqueline.