While enjoying and promoting riding bicycles, members of KBC are also strong advocates for safe riding and safe riding conditions. To that end, listed below are important guidelines to follow when riding.
The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club encourages all of its members to follow the rules of the road and to keep in mind that showing courtesy to motorists, pedestrians, and other bicyclists goes a long way toward improving perceptions of bicyclists whenever we are riding.
Guidelines for Riding Safely
- Perform the ABC Quick Check before each ride to help ensure that your bicycle is in a safe and well maintained condition.
- Wear a helmet (required on all KBC Rides)
- Obey traffic signs and signals
- Ride as far to the right on a roadway as practicable
- Ride no more than two abreast
- Be visible – wear brightly colored clothing
- Be visible – install and use lights and reflectors on your bicycle (they don’t weigh that much)
- Be considerate – ride as steadily as possible and always signal your intentions
- Wear eye protection (e.g. sunglasses)
- Use a rear-view mirror – mounted on your bicycle, your helmet, or your sunglasses
- Carry with you emergency contact information, insurance information, and a cell phone (if possible). And, carrying/wearing personal identification, similar to RoadID’s, is recommended.
- If carrying a cell phone, have “1ICE” (1st person to call in case of emergency) at the top of your Contact list. First responders look for this number on cell phones.
- Be aware of and attentive to your surroundings – other riders, road conditions, vehicular traffic, etc.
- Stay hydrated and fed – carry water and, if necessary on longer rides, food
- Carry basic repair tools, including spare tube, tire levers and an inflation device
- Follow the League of American bicyclists Five Rules of the Road: Follow the Law, Be Predictable, Be Conspicuous, Think Ahead, Ride Ready.
Guidelines for Group Rides
- A group ride is not a race.
- Ride no more than two abreast.
- Follow wheel in front; do not overlap.
- Stay as far right as practicable.
- Point out road hazards, approaching vehicles, and pedestrians – be aware.
- Signal intentions – slowing, turning etc.
- Hold your line; ride steadily; be calm.
- Stand up slowly when climbing out of saddle; avoid bicycle back-slinging.
- Share the pull as able; maintain pace.
- Avoid creating a gap in the group.
- Change lead safely (see #2).
- Relax… Enjoy the ride.
Useful Safety Related Links and Documents
What Michigan laws pertain to bicyclists? The Michigan Bicycle Law link on the League of Michigan Bicyclists website is a VERY useful resource for answering this question.
Roundabouts are becoming more prevalent, and knowing how to navigate them correctly helps bicyclists ride safely. Here is a brochure from the Michigan Department of Transportation that provides guidelines for riding through a roundabout. MDOT roundabout brochure (pdf 880 kB)
The League of Michigan Bicyclists sponsors many education and safety related programs and booklets, many of which are available for download, including “What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know.” See http://www.lmb.org/index.php/Education for more information.
The League of American Bicyclists offers a number of safety and education related videos you can watch on your computer. See http://www.bikeleague.org/ for more information.
Among many other bits of advice, Bernard from theGeekyCyclist.com, advocates for cycling safety. Here is a recently published 35 Tips to Stay Safe on the Road, that might come in very handy https://www.thegeekycyclist.com/tips/bicycle-safety-tips/.
Other helpful links under Ride Safety: