Did you know that hundreds of thousands of people in the United States commute to work by bicycle, according to the U.S. Census Bureau? That’s a lot of cars off the road each day, a lot of gasoline saved and a ton of calories burned.
Maybe you’re one of St. Louis’ bicycle commuters already — or maybe you want to give it a try. These tips from the League of American Bicyclists and other organizations will help you prepare for the challenges you’ll face on your way to work. (We’ve included a few tips for drivers, too.)
- Be prepared. Always check your bike and other equipment before you leave on each trip. Also carry the proper tools and gear (including wet-weather clothing, if needed).
- Obey the law, traffic signals and signs. You have a right to be on the road with cars, but you also have the same duties.
- Stay right. Ride with the flow of traffic in the right lane. Leave room to make emergency maneuvers.
- Be visible. Drivers are often distracted, and many aren’t expecting to see cyclists on the road. So make them see you! Stay out of blind spots. Wear bright-colored clothing during the day, with reflective clothing and lights at night or in inclement weather. Also use hand signals so motorists know your intentions.
- Consider the conditions. Riding can be miserable when it’s wet, unless you have waterproof rain gear. Watch out for slick roads, too.
- Be hyper-aware. Scan your surroundings constantly so you can react quickly. Pay attention to cars parked alongside the curb; a door can fly open at any moment.
Cars and bicycles can, in fact, peacefully coexist on the roads. All it takes is a little preparation and a lot of awareness, along with some understanding thrown in for good measure.
If you’re biking to work, we here at HALO Insurance may be able to help you get a special discount on your car insurance for driving your vehicle less. Call today for details! 314-351-HALO (4256)