Ride Your Bike With Care!

Check Your Head! Protect your brain! Wear a bike helmet when you ride! Make sure it fits properly! Kids should be refitted often because their heads are always growing! Adults should wear helmets to protect their heads and to serve as good role models!

Check Your Bike Fit! Standing with both feet flat on the ground and straddling the bicycle’s top tube, you should have at least one inch of clearance between the top tube and your inseam. The seat height should be set so while sitting on the seat, your legs are almost fully extended at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Learn the ABC Quick Check!

  • A is for Air in your tires. Before getting on your bicycle, make sure the tires are properly inflated and are in good condition.
  • B is for Brakes. Brakes should be checked before every ride. Brakes should be able to skid the wheels. For rim brakes, the levers should not come within a thumb's thickness of the handlebar when squozen firmly. For coaster/foot brakes, using your foot, push firmly backwards on one pedal when the crank is horizontal.
  • C is for Chain, cranks and everything else. Handlebars and stem should be tight. Chains should be checked for adequate tension and axle nuts should be tight. Quick releases should be tight. Bicycle pedals should be secure and turn easily. All other bearings (wheels, cranks, headset) should be properly adjusted.

Learn and Practice Bike Handling Skills! Practice starting and stopping in front of the saddle (using the power pedal position). Know the capabilities and the limits of your skills and your bike.

Dress for Success. Wear comfortable, brightly colored clothing. Tuck in shoe laces and roll up pant legs to keep them from getting greasy and wound up in the chain and pedals. If you listen to music, keep one ear open to hear what's going on around you.

Sidewalks are for Walking! and so are crosswalks! Only very young children should ride on sidewalks (at walking speed). It is unsafe for teens and adults to ride on the sidewalk.

Ride Smart on the Street! Go with the flow! Travel in the same direction as cars do and stop at STOP signs and red lights. Look both ways when pulling out of a driveway or crossing an intersection. Don't ride closer than four feet from parked cars as car doors might open suddenly.

Always be (1) Alert, (2) Visible, (3) Predictable

Top 3 Driving Tips for Motorists

  1. Focus on driving. - Sending a text, checking your Facebook, making a phone call and other things can wait until you are stopped and your motor is turned off. Driving requires your full attention.
  2. Pass with Care When approaching a cyclist from behind, be patient and change lanes to pass. Slow down and wait until the passing lane is clear. Make sure you have good sight distance that no oncoming vehicle will be in the lane. Provide at least four feet clearance between your vehicle and the cyclist.
  3. Know the Law Cyclists have the responsibility to obey traffic laws. Cyclists have the legal right to ride in the travel lane or on the shoulder.

Top 5 Riding Tips for Cyclists

  1. Go With the Flow the same direction as other traffic. PA Law permits bicyclists to ride on the shoulder OR in the rightmost lane serving their destination (Consider riding in the lane: to avoid surface hazards such as debris or storm grates, to avoid parked car doors that may open, cars pulling out, turning cars and to be most visible) Using a left turn lane for turning is permissible and encouraged.
  2. STOP in the name of love! A complete stop at stop signs and red lights earns the respect of motorists and can possibly save your life.
  3. Sidewalks are for walking. Small children on bicycles should be aware of: people/dogs walking, driveways and intersections. Adults should not ride their bikes on sidewalks in business districts. Where permitted, take care and ride at a walking pace.
  4. Lights and Reflectors are your friends at night. To see where you're going, and to help you be seen.
  5. Be Alert! Don't get caught off balance. Watch for changes in surface conditions, errant drivers, and give space around other cyclists to avoid a pile-up.

Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual