Ride Safely In Traffic
Sharing the road with your four-wheeled brethren doesn’t have to be scary. You just have to know the rules.
Traffic may be nerve-racking to ride in, but you don’t need to become a statistic.To get from point A to point B in one piece, remember: Don’t trust turn signals until drivers turn, don’t assume motorists see you, and don’t assume they know the rules of the road. Below are five skills, from easy to advanced, that will get you through the four-wheeled zoo legally and safely.
1. Signal With Your Hands: Left arm straight out for a left turn; right arm straight out for a right turn; right arm up at a 90-degree angle to signal a stop.
2. Right Place, Right Time: Traffic laws require that cyclists ride as far to the left as practical. Exceptions are right turns, avoiding obstacles (such as car doors) and travelling at the speed of traffic, when you’re allowed to take up an entire lane.
>3. Don’t Get Doored: To avoid making a painful, unexpected stop by some chucklehead who throws open a car door, do this: On a road that’s lined with parallel-parked cars, take up more of the lane; assume a person sitting in the driver’s seat will open his/her door, look over your right shoulder to check that traffic’s clear and give the car a wide berth; and look at wheels. If they’re turned toward traffic, be prepared for the car to pull out in front of you.
4. Read Lights: Stay clear of traffic by staying ahead of it. Watch the signal lights on cross traffic. When they turn yellow, roll forward slowly and clip into your pedals, then jump ahead before the drivers accelerate. You’ll probably beat them to the next red light.
5. Turn from the Centre Turn Lane of a Two-Lane Road: Fifty metres before the turn, from your spot on the left shoulder, look behind you to see where the cars are. Accelerate to traffic speed or as close to it as you can.Twenty five metres before identify two cars you’ll merge between, signal and merge, drafting slightly off the lead car. Look right again, signal and move into the turn lane, staying close to the centre or left third of the lane. Check oncoming traffic and make the turn.