- Driver’s Name
- Driver’s License number
- Phone number
- Make and Model of Car
- License Plate #
- Insurance Company
- Date, Time, Location of Accident
- Making sure your bike is in good working order
- Planning a good route
- Understanding safe riding principles and rules of the road and trail
- Carrying your stuff, and more
THE NOT-SO-OBVIOUS Reduce Your Speed Slow down! This is less about you being visible and more about being able to see any obstacles in front of you. Particularly on roads you are less familiar, obstacles and debris are more difficult to spot in the dark. Lane Positioning Where in the lane should you ride to be most visible? Hint: Don’t hug the curb! Taking the lane (or riding in the center of a travel lane) is your legal right, and helps keep you visible to drivers. If no designated bicycle lane is available, riding in the center of a traffic lane not only allows you to avoid hazards near the edge of the road, but prevents oncoming vehicles from turning directly in front of you or passing too closely. And doing so keeps you out of the door zone (the area three to four feet away from parked cars).
Lights: Requirements for lights vary by jurisdiction, but regardless, it’s important to keep yourself visible on the road. Make sure to use a white headlight (front light) and a red taillight (rear light) when it’s dark, foggy, or in wet weather. There are several types of bike lights, and the one that suits your needs depends on your ride. Riding a dark trail at night? You’ll want the brightest one you can find to help illuminate the path in front of you. Riding down a heavily light cycle track? Maybe you can get by with smaller blinky lights. Even if you don’t think you’ll ever ride at night, you never know when you may leave work later than you planned, get caught in the rain, or decide you need to take your bike out after dark.
Some bicycle commuters often find that it’s nice to have a few extras beyond what’s absolutely necessary. These nice-to-have items include:
Bell: Bells are not only for your safety, but for the safety of other bicyclists and pedestrians out on the road. A bell can communicate to others that you’re passing, warn jaywalkers that you are approaching, or grab the attention of a passenger hopping out of a cab before they door you.
Gloves: Plenty of riders use cushioned gloves on their everyday commute throughout the year. Protecting your hands from the cold, wet, and wind is crucial during the winter months since most braking and shifting control comes from your hands and fingers. For most short commutes, your usual winter gloves will suffice.
Last week, we announced that the Bike KIND-ly program—during which our bike ambassadors hand out Kind bars stickered with a helpful tip about bike etiquette—is back on for 2014. On a monthly basis, the ambassadors selected a different location and crafted a message to distribute to cyclists riding near it. Individual snack bars were adorned with a short reminder to share the road, yield to pedestrians on sidewalks, basic bike-lane etiquette, and to ride lawfully. Read the full list of last year’s Bike KIND-ly tips below:
- Don’t be a bike ninja! Position yourself to be seen, and be visible with bright bike lights, bright colors and reflectivity.
- Avoid bicycling on the sidewalks! You’re safest when you ride on the road and go with the flow.
- Be extremely KIND to your fellow trail users. When passing slow down, ring your bell, give an audible warning, pass on their left.
- Communicate lane changes and turns to drivers with hand signals, eye contact, and your positioning on the road.
- Show respect for fellow road users. Yield to pedestrians in x-walks and follow traffic laws.
- Tune into your surroundings, not mobile devices. Don’t text or make phone calls by bike.
- First in, first out. Wait behind cyclists already stopped at lights. Don’t crowd beside or blow through without warning.
- Thanks for Stopping By. Obey traffic signs to help prevents injuries and improve bicyclists’ image. Be a Roll Model!
- Claim the lane! A cyclist is entitled to the road, take what is yours! Riding in the middle of the lane makes you more visible to drivers.
- Columbia Heights Metro station
- Met Branch Trail
- 15th Street cycletrack and M Street NW
- R Street and New Jersey Avenue NW
- East Capitol and 4th streets NE
- 11th and W streets NW
- 11th Street Bridge SE
- 16th and U streets NW
- Kansas and 5th streets NW
Bike KIND-ly is back for the 2014 season!
Last year, WABA’s Bike Ambassadors partnered with KIND Snacks to create a Bike KIND-ly campaign. Each month, a different “tip” geared towards bicycle safety or etiquette was stuck on a snack bar and given out at various locations around the city as a reminder to riders to be kind on the roads. We reached over 2,000 bicyclists last year and are hoping to have an even bigger impact this year.
Catch the Bike Ambassadors tomorrow morning, Jan. 8, at Kansas Avenue and 5th St. NW rom 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Stop by to learn more about the program, how you can get involved, or just to grab a snack!If you missed the 2013 Bike KIND-ly season, stay tuned. We’ll be back here with a full list of last year’s tips. For now, check out some photos below the jump. Continue reading