The Ridgefield Police Department (RPD) and the Ridgefield Bicycle Sport Club (RBSC) are introducing a series of tips on how to share our roads in a joyous, peaceful and most of all, safe manner.
This first installment provides some guidance on how to move through Town. The configuration of Main Street poses some unique challenges, and not being certain how to handle them could lead to frustration, annoyance and potential accidents; so here it goes.
For the cyclist, first and foremost for rules of the road, remember that bikes should be considered small, slow cars, subject to all traffic laws.
What does that mean?
- Ride single file on the right (more on that in a sec) at moderate speeds; never against the traffic
- Obey all traffic lights and stop signs
- Yield the cross-walks to pedestrians, strollers, dogs, horses (OK; just trying to be complete)
- Be visible; flaunt that bright colored Lycra!!
- Be boring; ride steady and predictably; no surprises or sudden movements
- Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate actions from drivers or pedestrians that could be dangerous
- No ear buds……ever; safety needs all the senses
- Good to have a cell for emergencies, but if a call/text comes in while riding, pull over safely and stop before you take it
- Always check traffic behind before moving into the traffic lane or turning left; use a quick glance to check, not a full upper body twist; the bike goes where the body points, and you could inadvertently drift into the traffic lane
- Bikes may be considered small cars, but do not come equipped with brake lights or turn signals, so use hand signals when stopping or turning.
There’s a lot more, like being sure your bike is maintained so mechanical issues like malfunctioning brakes don’t get you in trouble, use front and rear lights, and always wear a helmet; but this will get us started.
Stay Tuned for Tips for Drivers!