How not to get hit by cars

This weeks’ information is directed to bike riders, thousands are new to Davis, and few are familiar with urban bike riding. There are those who haven’t ridden a bike since childhood. There are those who never learned how to ride a bike, and may be too embarrassed to admit it. There are many did not obtain a California Driver’s License, where some drivers learned the rules of the road. These rules of the road were not on the SATs or encoded into our DNA.

Sharing the road is an interesting metaphor for how we all can learn how to get along in mainstream day-to-day life. Everyone needs to get somewhere. Consider that everyone eats, that’s a lot of people every day looking for parking spaces at grocery stores and idling at drive-thrus looking for food. Let’s thank bike riders for taking up less space, on the road and off. And bike riders, here are 5 tips for not getting hit by cars.

1) Ride in the direction of traffic. Cutting corners and riding on the wrong side of the street confuses everyone and is the #1 cause of cyclist deaths.

2) Don’t ride on sidewalks. Cars don’t expect to see you there, it’s rude to pedestrians, and is the #2 cause of cycling death.

3) Make yourself highly visible. Neon green is always ‘Cycle Chic’ and reflective striping can be added to clothing, backpacks and bicycles. Rider’s don’t belong in gutters and stay away from the car door zone. Take your place in your lane so you can be seen by drivers.

4) Learn hand signals. Stop is one of the most important. Communicating with drivers and pedestrians by using eye contact and hand signals reduces confusion.

5) Obey the rules of the road. Learn and practice them, we’re all in the street together.

To welcome bike riders to Davis, The Bike Campaign puts on Free Bike Clinics at various locations throughout the City through November. “Ask a Local” community participants assist new riders, provide bike maps, teach how to use a bike pump, and much more. For more information about upcoming clinics, or to be an “Ask a Local” participant, contact Maria Tebbutt at funmaria@sbcglobal.net or (530) 753-1125, www.thebikecampaign.com.