Bike Safety

Bike Safely…and with JOY!

  • Good judgment and alertness are crucial to bike safety.  Follow the rules of the road at all time to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
  • Wear a bicycle helmet.   In BC, it is mandatory that all cyclists wear bicycle helmets.  The large majority of serious head injuries can be prevented by wearing a bicycle helmet.
  • Cyclists should wear fluorescent or brightly coloured clothing.  Make sure that pant legs and shoelaces are not going to interfere with the wheels or bike’s chain.
  • Prior to riding always do a check of the air pressure, the brakes, and the chain.  Ride around a driveway or parking lot for a little, before hitting the road.
  • Obey all traffic laws.  For example, stop at all stop signs and red lights, yield the right of way, use hand signals when turning or stopping.  Ride on the appropriate side of the road (with the traffic) at a safe distance from vehicles. 
  • Ride predictably – defensively and in a straight line.  Make eye contact with other bikers and drivers to ensure they see you.
  • When riding with others, ride single file and maintain a safe distance (a few bike lengths) between bikers.  The faster the pace, the more space required.
  • Be courteous to drivers.  You are sharing the road with them.
  • Always maintain a safe, comfortable speed.  When going downhill, use both brakes simultaneously, but be aware that the front brake (at your left hand) is more powerful than the rear.  Gently pump or feather your brakes for maximum effect and check your brakes frequently to make sure nothing is amiss.
  • Wet roads make for slick roads and extra caution and greater stopping distance must be used – especially when descending.  Apply brakes earlier in damp weather.
  • When riding in sand or gravel, it’s best to use a low great so you can travel slowly yet effectively.
  • Be aware of road obstacles.  When appropriate walk your bike.  Be cautious of metal grates, storm drains, glass, and rocks or gravel.  And warn those bikers traveling behind you of any approaching hazards.
  • Don’t forget that pedestrians have the right of way.  Bikers are not permitted to ride on sidewalks.  When using a sidewalk, please walk your bike.
  • When merging with traffic, always shoulder check (if you can safely do this without swerving your bike).  Never simply follow the biker in front of you.  Check for yourself that the passage is safe.  If uncomfortable merging with traffic at an intersection, simply walk your bike at the crosswalks.
  • Never bike with headphones.  Always listen for approaching traffic.
  • If chased by a dog and you cannot ride away quickly, dismount and walk out of the dogs territory - keep the bike between you and the dog.
  • If you wear contact lenses for driving, you must use them when biking.
  • Bicycles are vehicles and cyclists have the same rights and duties as vehicle drivers. Riding by the same set of rules as motorists makes you predictable and reduces risk.