Cycling, like any recreational activity, can be dangerous. But, if you follow proper cycling rules and etiquette it can be safe and enjoyable. The Israel Ride attracts cyclists of every age, degree of athleticism and riding styles. Our goal for each of you is to enjoy your ride in a safe and injury-free manner.
If case you are in a bike accident, it is important to know what to do to protect your rights as a cyclists. Learn more
Since bikes are not equipped with brake or turn lights you must use your arms and hands to indicate your intentions:
- Left arm straight out to the left indicates left turn.
- Right arm straight out to the right indicates a right turn. You can also indicate a right turn with your left arm, held at a right angle pointing up (this is a bit safer than using your right arm because you can keep your right hand on the right (rear) brakes).
- Left arm at a right angle with the hand pointing down indicates slowing and stopping.
Law requires the 3 signals above. When riding with others, you should the extra mile in safety signals by using our hands and vocal chords to do the following:
- Point out road obstacles i.e. rocks, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, and potholes.
- Always use your arms as pointers and your voice to draw attention to any impending obstacles.
The following CALL OUT signals is encouraged for all cyclists. Never think that someone else is loud enough for the cyclist in front of you to hear him or her, always add your voice and send the message forward or backward – depending on the situation at hand. For example, when coming to a stop with 20 fellow cyclists, ALL 20 cyclists should be calling out, Stopping! This keeps everyone alert.
- “Car back” used when you hear a car approaching from your rear. When you hear a fellow cyclist saying “Car back” you must also say it so the cyclist in front of you can hear it, and on up the line.
- “Car up” used when riding on a narrow roadway and you have a car approaching you.
- “On Your Left” used EVERY TIME you pass another cyclist. Never pass a cyclist on the right.
- “Door” used when riding along parked cars. Watch all cars that are parked and if you see someone in the driver’s seat call out
- “Tracks” used when approaching railroad tracks. Always cross railroad tracks at a 90-degree angle to avoid getting your tires trapped in the tracks.
- “Slowing” used when slowing to make a stop or beginning to pull off the road to stop.
- “Stopping” used after you call out slowing and are ready to come to a full stop. If you are stopping to rest or stretch or even change a flat; it is crucial that you pull completely off the bicycle lane of traffic.
- “Turning” used when making any type of turn and always in conjunction with the appropriate arm turn signal.
You must at all times be aware of your surroundings and alert to all possibilities. On a group ride, there will be other riders on roads alongside vehicles of all sizes. It is crucial that you stay alert and ride smart, predictably and deliberately. Be prepared to stop at any moment. Be aware that each of your actions will dictate how the person behind you, or the automobile beside you, reacts.
Laws regarding cycling are different in each city and state, but generally the following is true:
- That a bicycle be considered a vehicle with the same privileges and restrictions as a car.
- That you obey all traffic laws, traffic signals and stop signs.
- That you ride with the traffic – NOT against it.
- That you use hand signals to indicate your intentions.
In general, bicycles have the legal right to share the road on most public highways. Bicyclists must comply with governing laws, and can be ticketed for violations. In the case of children, parents or guardians may be held responsible for any fines.
- Top 10 popular bicycle collisions (and how to avoid them!) How to avoid getting “doored,” how to handle tricky turns, busy intersections and more.
- How You Can Ride Better – from the League of American Bicyclists Rules of the road, commuter tips, bike maintenance, and more.
- Guide to Streetwise Cycling in New York City – from Transportation Alternatives The skills needed to ride in Manhattan, or any other crowded environment.
- Various Articles from Transportation Alternatives
Municipal or regional bicycling maps often list pertinent local laws: