Riding The Bike
Vision - The first step in riding safely is being able to see the cars, trucks, or
motorcycles that are on the road with you.
It is easy to see vehicles in front of you, but you will also have to see the vehicles
that are coming from behind. This means looking quickly over your left or right shoulder
to see if any cars or trucks are coming. Before you ride on any busy streets, practice the
skill of steering straight ahead and looking quickly over you shoulder. This will help you
keep control and still see the other vehicles.
Being Seen - Step two in safe bike riding is making sure that other people can see
For day riding, having a flourescent colored flag on a flexible pole attached to your bike
and wearing bright colored clothes can help make you more visible. The sooner drivers see
you the more time they have to move around you, making your riding easier.
When riding after, you must have a front lamp that gives a white light visible for at
least 500 feet. A clear white reflector or tail light must be visible for at least 300
Wear light colored clothes and, if possible, wear a reflective jacket or vest. Clean
reflectors will help others see you for both day and night riding.
As you ride, listen for the sounds that cars, trucks, and motorcycles make as they come up
from behind. By hearing these sounds early you can more easily share the road with them.
Moving In Traffic - Because you're riding your bike on the same roads as cars and
trucks, you must obey the Rules of the Road like they do. Some special rules for bike
Stay on the right of the street, near the
curb. Move with traffic and watch for parked cars turning into traffic or car doors
Ride in single file when you are with others.
Obey all traffic signs, signals, and road
Use hand signals to indicate a turn or stop.
Walk your bike across all busy intersections.
Ride alone and do not carry any packages,
this can cause you to lose control.
Never weave from lane to lane, or hitch a
ride on moving cars, trucks, or motorcycles.
Let all pedestrians, cars or trucks go first
when they are about to cross in front of you.
Road Hazards - Be on the lookout for sewer gratings and man-hole covers
with opening large enough to trap your tires. Avoid loose gravel, potholes, and broken
tires, they can cause you to lose control. Although riding in the rain and through
puddles in fun, the water can make your bike brakes work improperly.
Bike Routes - Ask your parents or teacher to contact your local police department
for information about special bike routes or paths in your community. These routes are
usually lightly traveled streets and are marked by special signs.
Bicycle Field Trips - One of the most exciting activites that riding can bring is
going with friends on field trips. Pre-trip planning by the group can add to a fun filled
outing. The first thing to check is that all bikes are in condition for the distance you
intend to ride. The riders should share the carrying of a small tool kit, a tire-repair
kit, a spare tube, and a tire pump and gauge.
A day long field trip will require that food be taken and that clothes for the weather be
worn. Be sure your parents know where you will be going, and how long you intend to be
gone. If you leave your bike for any reason, lock it to a large tree or post with a chain
Bicycle Safely Clubs - Many schools or local police departments have formed bicycle
safety clubs especially for the young riders in the community. These clubs meet from time
to time to plan bicycle field days or rodeos, and to review safe riding rules and
The fun of riding is missed if your bike doesn't work right. Check your tires daily for
air pressure and wear. Making sure the handles bars, saddles, and pedals are tight can
prevent a fall. Lubricate the chain and wheels often. Ask your parents or a qualified bike
mechanic to help you keep your bike in top condition.
#1: Reflections - Pedals and wheels for side visibility.
#2: Flag - A fluorescent orange flag on a flexible 6 foot pole is an
inexpansive option for increasing rider visibility. Make sure the end of the pole is
capped for protection and that the pole is make of fiberglass and not wood or metal.
#3: Horn/Bell - Most state laws require a warning device that can be heard
up to 100 feet away.
#4: Mirrors -Excellent option to help see car and trucks that are behind
#5: Light - If you plan to ride at night, a front lamp is required and a
rear tail light should be considered for added visibility. A battery operated light is
generally best for riding in town. Check the battery strength often.
Protection Against Theft
All the fun of being a bike rider is lost when someone takes your bike. There is a lot you
can do to make sure your bike stays yours. The best protection against loss is a
chain and lock - a case hardened three-eighth inch chain of at least thirty-six inches in
length covered in vinyl or rubber to protect the bike finish, and a high quality dial
combination or laminated key lock is recommended.
Whenever you are away from home and you are going to leave your bike, protect it. Lock the
bike in a place where there are alot of people, securing it to a large post, fence, or
tree with the chain through both wheels and frame. Take your bike inside whenever
possible, both day and night.
Register your bike with your local police department. Ask your parents to keep a record of
the serial number and a description of the bike.