Rules for Your Ride
Spring is here, and with it comes many different opportunities for you to participate in bike races and tours. One of the biggest tours, the BP MS 150, is taking place April 12-13, followed by the Fiesta Wildflower Bike Ride April 20 and the Tour de Cure for diabetes May 17-18. With so many rides approaching, you might notice that there is more than the usual number of cyclists sharing the roadway in an effort to train for these events.
In order to make sure that motorists and cyclists co-exist peacefully, there are a few road rules imposed by the Texas Transportation Code statutes that cyclists must observe. According to the Web site www.biketexas.org, those rules are as follows:
• Bicyclists must follow the same rules as other vehicle operators including observing all traffic signs and signals.
• A bicyclist must ride in the same direction as traffic flow and must maintain a close proximity to the curb.
• A bicyclist must keep one hand on the handlebars at all times, except when signaling.
• A bicyclist must use hand and arm signals to indicate where he or she is going.
• There should only be one rider per bicycle unless, of course, it is a tandem.
• Bicyclists may ride two abreast as long as traffic is not impeded.
• The bicycle must be equipped with a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear of the bike for safety purposes.
• The bike must have brakes that are capable of making the braked wheel skid.
In addition to all of these rules and regulations, there are some basic codes of etiquette that will make you not only safer, but probably more well-liked by your riding club. Think of them as the equivalent to Emily Post’s guide to life. The Web site www.ms150.org offers these tips for bike courtesy:
• Obey all traffic signals.
• Communicate with other riders using appropriate terms such as “on your left.”
• Stay on the right side unless passing another cyclist and only pass on the left side.
• Do not cross the center line.
• Use the appropriate signals when making a turn.
• Be in control of your bike at all times.
• Ride defensively.
• Don’t use Aerobars in a group setting.
• Alert other riders to road hazards such as potholes or sticks by pointing or calling them out.
• Do not overlap wheels.
• When you are in the front of the group, pedal down hill.
• Don’t follow too closely, especially when riding uphill.
• Follow the instructions of Ride Marshals when applicable.
For more on cycling rules, etiquette, races and other bike-related topics, visit one of the following Web sites: www.biketexas.org or www.ms150.org. Train safely!
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