Whether you bicycle for recreation, commuting, or competition, it’s important to know how to ride your bicycle safely and efficiently. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has a special technical committee on cycles and has established formal standards for bicycle components and testing methods. This helps ensure that the minimum safety requirements are met, as well as make spare parts interchangeable.
When riding your bicycle, you must obey all traffic laws, as well as traffic signals and signs. You also need to know how to make safe maneuvers, like passing. For example, if you are riding in a lane of traffic, you should move to the right side of the lane so you can be seen by other vehicles. You also need to use a red headlight and taillight to ensure that you are visible at night.
Bicyclists should also use the same through lanes as motorists and should not obstruct legally parked motor vehicles. They should also follow the same rules for crossing intersections, including stopping at an intersection when an arm signal indicates a pedestrian crosswalk.
Bicyclists should also be aware of pedestrian rights of way on shared paths. For example, if you are using a bike path, you should leave three feet of space between your bike and parked cars. You should also be prepared to pass a car door that opens in your path.
Bicyclists should also be able to stop at traffic signals and red lights. If there is no sidewalk or street curb, you should be able to stop in the middle of the lane, preferably near the center. If there is a curb, you should move to the left side of the lane, and if there is no shoulder, you should move to the right side of that lane.
Bicyclists should also be prepared for heavy traffic. When there is a lot of traffic, you might want to take a pedestrian crosswalk instead of bicycling. You may also want to use the same through lanes as motorists, but you can also use bike paths.
Bicyclists should also be ready to use the same lanes as motorists when they need to make a turn. You should use a designated bike lane when you are making a turn, and you should be prepared to use a shoulder if you need to make a right turn. You should also use the same signal as a motor vehicle when you make a left turn.
Bicyclists who want to exercise safely should make sure they wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials during the night. You should also make sure to use reflectors and bells to warn other drivers of your presence. It’s also a good idea to carry a picture ID to ensure that law enforcement officers can identify you and that you are not a thief.
Bicyclists should also carry identification that describes their health status. If you have a health issue that makes it difficult for you to ride your bicycle safely, you should carry a picture ID and a description of your health condition.