MacDowell Law Group, P.C.

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Serving Northern Virginia
Since 1995

The Five Essentials of Bicycling

A bicyclist's safety on the road depends on the five essential bicycling skills. These skills can reduce your risk of injury.

  1. Handling: Control your bike. Know how to handle (start, stop, turn, ride in a straight line, keep balance at slow speeds, check over should without swerving) your bike property so that a collision could be avoided. Also, equip your bike with the required safety features (brakes, front and rear reflectors and lights).
  2. Cooperation: Share the road. Bicyclists have the same responsibilities and rights as a motorist. Obey all traffic signals, signs and road markings. Watch out for pedestrians and avoid riding on sidewalks whenever possible.
  3. Positioning: Make yourself visible. When riding slower than the other traffic, ride in the bike lane (in the same direction as the other traffic). Leave the lane when traveling fast as the other traffic, to avoid obstacles and to prepare to turn. On roads without a bike lane ride in the rightmost through lane in a straight line. Move to the center of the lane when:
    • Traveling the same speed as other traffic.
    • Narrow lane width or obstacles make it unsafe to be passed by other drivers within the lane.
    • Being more visible makes you safer.
  4. Responsiveness: Respond to hazards. Know how to stop and turn quickly when another roadway user makes a hazardous mistake.
  5. Protection: Protect your head and hands. Wear a bicycle helmet and cycling gloves to prevent or reduce serious injuries.

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MacDowell Law Group, P.C.

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