Are you participating in the Moving Planet Bike Ride this weekend? Are you new to long bike rides? Check out these tips for how to be prepared!
Moving Planet Bike Ride
- Know “Rules of the Road”: riding no more than 2 abreast, riding in the shoulder or far right of right lane when there is no shoulder, following all traffic laws/lights, etc. Please see the list of recommendations by the League of American Bicyclists below.
- Make sure your bike is in good working order before leaving home – check tires and breaks, lube chain, install lights if you don’t have them.
- What to bring essential: helmet, gloves, refillable water bottle, sunscreen, snacks (some provided), pocket money ($5 to ride bus home), phone, spare tubes, rain gear (just in case), bike lock (lights, front & rear)
- What to bring ideally: multi-tool, patch kit, pump, signs, banners, pennants, & climate-aware costumes, camera (helmet cam!), cell phone to record the event*, two-way radios (“FRS” type), first aid supplies (bandaids, antibiotic, gauze, tape, aspirin), a buff, dust masks or bandana to breath through if needed for exhaust and potentially bugs.
- Bring a buddy (or 2 or 10) and let him/her know of any potential health or other problems you may need help with. Let him/her know your emergency contact person’s details.
- Help your neighbor: watch friends for signs of dehydration, exhaustion. There will be buses for people and trailers for bikes if needed.
- What to wear: Dress comfortably in layers. If you wear long pants, tighten the cuffs with straps or tuck into socks (can get caught in chain). Don’t wear dangly jewelry. Consider goggles to protect eyes.
- We will have water, snacks and portable toilets at almost every stop. Try to eat and drink at the stops, not while riding, to avoid choke hazards, stay hydrated and keep your energy level up.
- Be prepared to potentially encounter aggressive drivers. Avoid and ignore them if possible, and let the marshals know. If avoidance is not possible, try to instigate compassion – stop and let them go. Don’t let things escalate – keep your cool. Call 911 if you feel afraid for any reason. Cars legally must stay 3ft. from a bicycle.
Resources from the League of American Bicyclists: Rules of the Road
The League’s six Rules of the Road will prepare you for a safe and fun bike commute no matter where you are riding. For more educational resources, sign up for a Smart Cycling class.
1. Follow the law.
Your safety and the image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
2. Be predictable.
Make your intentions clear to motorists and other road users. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.
3. Be conspicuous.
Ride where drivers can see you; wear bright clothing. Use a front white light and red rear light and reflectors at night or when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with drivers. Don’t ride on sidewalks.
4. Think ahead.
Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other bicyclists will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and utility covers. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
5. Ride Ready.
Check your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release wheel levers are closed. Carry repair and emergency supplies appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.
6. Keep your cool.
Road rage benefits no-one and always makes a bad situation worse.
Resource from the League of American Bicyclists: Riding in Groups
- Be predictable.
- In a group, your actions affect those around you, not just yourself
- Riders expect you to continue straight and at a constant speed
- Signal your intention to turn or slow down before you do so
- Use signals
- Use hand signals to indicate turns and point out hazards to others
- Left or right arm straight out to indicate left or right turn
- Left arm out and down with palm to the rear to indicate stopping
- Give warnings
- Ride leaders should call out right turns, left turns and stops in addition to signaling
- Announce turns before the intersections to give riders a chance to position themselves
- Try to avoid sudden stops or turns except for emergencies
- Change positions correctly
- Slower moving traffic stays to the right; faster traffic to the left
- Pass slower moving vehicles on the left; announce your intention to do so
- Announce passes on the right clearly as this is not a usual maneuver
- Announce hazards
- Most cyclists do not have a full view of the road while riding in a group
- Announce potholes and other hazards so others can avoid them
- Call out the hazard and point down to it, either left or right
- Watch for traffic from the rear
- The last rider should frequently check for overtaking cars
- Announce “car back” clearly and loudly
- It is also helpful to announce “car up” on narrow roads or when riding two abreast
- Watch out at intersections
- Leader should announce slowing or stopping at intersections if necessary
- Cyclists should not follow others through intersections without scanning
- Each cyclist is responsible for checking cross traffic; if you must stop, signal
- Leave room for cars
- On narrow road or during climbs, leave space between every three or four riders
- Motorists will utilize the shorter passing intervals to pass the group
- Good relations with motorists is the responsibility of every cyclist
- Stop off road
- When stopping for mechanicals or regrouping, always move clear off the road
- Only if conditions permit should you move back onto the road as a group
- Always yield to traffic in the roadway
- Ride single file
- It is illegal in some areas to ride more than two abreast
- Ride single file between intersections; double up when the group stops
- When taking the lane, double up and take the whole lane