Tips For Riding Safely In A City On Your Rented Bicycle

Posted on: 27 July 2016

Whether you're visiting a new city or you just wish to experience your own city from a different perspective, ditching the car and renting a bicycle can be the answer. Large cities often have multiple bikes for rent, which will allow you to get some exercise as you enjoy the sights — and not have to worry about paying for parking. Bicycling through the city provides some unique challenges compared to simply cruising around your own neighborhood, though, so it's important to make safety your top priority. Beyond wearing a helmet and other safety gear, here are some tips for riding safely in the city.

Don't Try To Predict Drivers' Intentions

One of the best ways to stay safe on your bike in the city is to never assume that you know what a motorist's next move will be. At a crosswalk, for example, it may be tempting to cross to the other side when you see that an approaching car doesn't have its turn signal on, but you can't trust that the car won't turn anyway. You should never make a movement until you are 100 percent certain where the drivers around you are heading; remember, they have a lot of distractions when driving in the city, and you could also be in one of their blind spots.

When In Doubt, Ring Your Bell

Motorists aren't the only things to watch out for when you're driving in the city. You also need to be careful around pedestrians and give them the right of way. If you're approaching a group of pedestrians, you want to be sure that everyone is aware of your presence and that no one inadvertently steps into your path. The best way to politely announce your presence is to ring your bell once or twice. This will tell everyone that you're nearby and that they should watch out for you just as you're watching out for them.

Watch For Movement In Parked Cars

One of the easiest ways to get injured while bicycling in the city is when a parked motorist opens his or her door just as you pass beside the vehicle. While motorists should ideally check if the coast is clear, the reality is that you can't rely on them to watch out for you. It's your job to steer widely around parked vehicles when you're able, and to always watch for movement on the side of the car you're passing. If you see someone sitting in the car, notice whether it appears that he or she is getting ready to climb out. Then, you'll be able to take the appropriate evasive maneuvers.