Spring is in the air, bikes are on the road

Spring is on the calendar, and in the air as well. More people are using bicycles for transportation than ever before. Expect to see more bicyclists on the road as temperatures moderate and daylight lingers.

Start with the basics of:  proper helmet fit, comfortable but not loose clothing, and a bicycle that is in good working order. Make sure you can perform basic maintenance and fix a flat tire.

Before you start riding in road with traffic, it can be a good idea to practice some basic riding skills in an open area or parking lot. Practical riding skills include: scanning, interpreting and executing evasive maneuvers to avoid obstacles; signaling left and right turns as well as stopping; and effective braking techniques.

Once you start riding and commuting, obey all traffic laws as they pertain to bicyclists. Be aware of your lane positioning and communication with drivers, especially when turning left or right, or stopping. Always honor the right of way and observe intersection etiquette.

The City of Seattle has been busy enhancing and improving bicycle facilities throughout the City. Familiarize yourself with everything the City of Seattle’s bicycle program has to offer and visit our webpage at: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikeprogram.htm

Whether you are a new commuter or a seasoned expert make sure you have the knowledge to make informed decisions while riding in traffic and the confidence to balance caution, assertiveness and the skills necessary for safe urban riding.