10 Safety Things to Remember When Riding a Bicycle in Chicago

10 Safety Things to Remember When Riding a Bicycle in Chicago

These days, riding a bicycle in Chicago is safer and more fun than ever. The city features hundreds of miles of bike lanes, wonderfully flat terrain, and a vibrant community of passionate bike activists and other riders. Before jumping on that seat and hitting the road on two wheels, newcomers to Chicago, or to bicycling, should read on to find out about the top ten safety concerns they need to keep in mind.

1. Get the Right Bike

The best way to get a well-fitted bicycle is to head to a bike shop to get help with general sizing and adjusting the frame. Trying to ride a bike that’s too big or too small can place even an experienced rider in dangerous situations. Riders who don’t want to need a bicycle accident lawyer should always start their journeys onto Chicago’s bike lanes on a well-fitted bike.

2. Wear Protective Gear

Even the most experienced riders take the occasional tumbles, and there’s no way to control motorists’ actions on the road. Every bicyclist should wear a bike helmet for personal protection and should check it frequently to make sure it’s still strong enough to protect the brain and save the rider’s life.

3. Be Seen

Motorists aren’t always on the lookout for bikes on the roads, so it’s up to bicyclists to make sure they get seen. Try wearing bright colors or a reflective vest, and use flashing lights to attract attention both day and night.

4. Eliminate Distractions

Like drivers, bicyclists aren’t able to perform their best when they’re distracted. Keep those hands on the handlebars, use a bike bag to carry things, not an arm, and never text while biking. It’s also best to avoid using headphones or earbuds.

5. Avoid Road Hazards

Keep an eye out for road hazards like potholes, puddles, broken concrete or asphalt, leaves, glass, and critters. If there are other riders on the road, the person in front should yell back to them if they notice potentially hazardous conditions.

6. Obey Traffic Laws

Some bicyclists pretend that the lane markings, signals, and traffic signs don’t apply to them. In fact, bicycles are vehicles and their riders are still subject to all the rules of the road.

7. Go With the Flow

Whether riding on a bike path or on the road, bicyclists should always go with the flow. In other words, ride on the same side as automotive or other bicycle traffic, not against it.

8. Look Before Making Turns

It’s never wise to cross lanes to make last-minute turns. Instead, signal clearly and make the turn from the side of the lane that’s closest to it. Make sure there are no pedestrians, other bicyclists, or obstacles in the way before turning.

9. Watch for Parked Cars

People getting out of their cars or pulling them out of parking spots don’t always look for bicyclists. Pay attention and try to avoid riding in the door zone.

10. Be Predictable

Make things easy for motorists by behaving as predictably as possible. Signal moves to others with arms and ride in a straight line instead of zipping in and out of lanes in traffic.

Safety First

While drivers are protected by advanced safety features, bicyclists have little more than their helmets and their wits to protect them in the event of a crash. Always ride safely. Most motorists won’t go out of their way to protect bicyclists, even in a bike-friendly city like Chicago.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.