How to ride a bike on the road and stay healthy
Cycling, with the exception of some special cycling sports, involves driving on roads and streets. Actually, the bike was created for this.
We live in Kirovo-Chepetsk, so cyclists cannot wait for bike paths in the foreseeable future.
Cycling on sidewalks is prohibited by the Traffic Rules (which many motorists and cyclists have not heard of) and extremely inconvenient. pedestrians, curbs, broken glass.
On roads and streets. from year to year increasing traffic intensity.
Where can the poor cyclist go??
Actually, there are only two options.
The first is to ride specialized mountain bikes on empty country roads and paths, when it is not too damp and not covered by snow. But even these places will have to be reached by public roads.
The second is to ride any bike on any road, taking care of your own safety.
The road is a place of increased danger. How not to become a victim or the culprit of an accident?
Passive safety first.
Of course, the bike is completely intact. The chain and sprockets are not worn out, the brakes are in order, the bushings rotate without constriction and backlash. Brake and derailleur cables are not loose, cable jackets are clean inside. Handlebars (grips) on the handlebars do not turn. All bolts and nuts are tight. Tires match the road surface and are properly inflated.
A bright red lantern is fixed on the back of a bicycle or on clothes or a backpack, in front there is a bright headlight with white light, and orange reflectors are on the spokes. At the slightest deterioration in visibility, turn on the lights, do not hesitate.
You have a comfortable fit. It makes no sense to ride a road bike in the lower grip around the city. visibility decreases, and aerodynamics in the city is clearly not in the foreground.
You are dressed in specialized cycling clothes in bright colors. both comfortable and on the road you can be seen a mile away. Recommended colors are lemon, yellow, orange, red, etc. And in the dark, reflective stripes shine on your clothes. front, side, back.
On the head. a bicycle helmet. On the face. sports glasses. A midge or grain of sand in the eye on the road is dangerous.
In addition to your visibility, bright cycling clothes and bicycle helmets tell motorists that you are on the road for a long time. Just changing clothes from normal to cycling increases the lateral spacing from cars overtaking on the left by half a meter. And that’s what you need.
Now about active safety.
Needless to say, since you are entering the road, you have studied the Rules of the Road.
You know that, according to the Rules, in addition to the general duties established for vehicle drivers, a cyclist must also fulfill the following:
[quote = traffic rules]
24.2. Bicycles should only move in the rightmost lane in one lane as far to the right as possible. Driving on the side of the road is allowed if it does not interfere with pedestrians.
24.3. Bicycle and moped drivers are prohibited from:
drive without holding the steering wheel with at least one hand;
move along the road if there is a cycle path nearby;
turn left or make a U-turn on roads with tram traffic and on roads with more than one lane for traffic in a given direction. [/ quote]
But, the Rules are Rules, and there are unwritten laws. One of them. DDD. give way to the fool. Be you a hundred times right, but if you find yourself in a hospital bed, if you are right, it will not be easier for you.
Try to see the situation on the road and anticipate its development.
A significant proportion of drivers still believe that since they drive a car, and you drive a bicycle (fool, poor man), they have an advantage over you, regardless of what is indicated in the traffic rules. Some people still remember the paragraph in the old edition of the Rules, which instructed cyclists to move no further than 1m from the right side of the road.
Still others believe that since they are traveling on business, and your childhood plays on bicycles on the saddle, then you have no place on the road.
These people with a low culture, who do not know the traffic rules or openly violate them, can be recognized by impatient signals behind your back or by boorish behavior on the road.
All of us. cyclists, motorists, motorcyclists, and tractor drivers. need to understand: we are all equal on the road, like in a bathhouse. Regardless of what. on what, why, and at what speed we are moving. We are all road users.
Another of your tasks is to be predictable on the road for other road users. What does it mean? This means. no jerking left and right, sudden braking, rebuilding, jumping onto curbs and jumping off them. We see a hole on the road. we indicate the direction of the turn with our hand and smoothly, in advance, we shift to the side to bypass it, then we smoothly return back.
Most often, holes, cracks, piles of sand and debris stretch along the asphalt along the side of the road. If you drive without hugging the side of the road, but having moved closer to the middle of the right lane in advance, then there will be much less reasons for wobbling when avoiding obstacles.
This will be called. possibly to the right. In winter, this possibly right-hand track will be the track from the right wheel of cars. Pits, sand, snow along the side of the road do not give you the opportunity to move further to the right.
What will a reasonable, traffic-enforcing driver of a car do in a situation when he drives up to you from behind, and you have nowhere to go to your right? What are the signals to drive you off the road? Or will he try to squeeze into a narrow gap between you and the oncoming car, thereby creating a dangerous or even emergency situation for your life? Not at all. He will wait for oncoming cars to pass, when the solid white dividing strip ends, and then calmly overtake you. Your job in this extremely common situation is to drive straight and stay calm. At the same time, looking back. not all drivers are reasonable.
A few more common emergencies.
The car overtakes the cyclist on the left and immediately turns to the right, into the passage, or into the intersected street, substituting the right side. There are two outcomes. Either a collision, or you brake heartily and fly over the front wheel. And then how lucky. in the car, under the car, or undershoot. Clearly, the culprit is the driver. How to avoid it? There is only one way out. do not drive around the city at your usual speed.
The cyclist moves as far to the right as possible in the right lane. There are parked cars at the side of the road. When the cyclist is level with the car, the driver or rear passenger opens the door and meets the cyclist in their cabin. It is clear who is to blame. But what to do? I saw a car standing by the side of the road. show with your hand the turn signal to the left and rebuild, so that the interval from the bike to the car is one and a half meters. And take your time, again.
A frequent situation on the Chepetsk. Kirov highway. The cyclist is driving in the right lane. There is no one behind. Cars are coming towards us in their own lane. Suddenly one of them drives into the oncoming lane for itself, yours, and tries to overtake the cars in front. You are bright and noticeable, like a clown in the arena, but your presence on the road is ignored by the driver of the overtaking car. Frontal attack. Ram. You can feel like Gastello against the kamikaze. Or a tank demolition dog. But without being awarded the title of Hero.
You can only be saved by jumping to the side of the road. What else can you contrast with suicidal behavior??
To the topic. Having pulled over to the side of the road, try not to fall, stay in the sand or mud, you need to smoothly stop. Do not try to drive back into the carriageway immediately. During this time, there may appear behind the car. In addition, the roadway is often higher than the shoulder. without jumping, you will fall on your left side.
Many points are left out of scope, but in order for you to be in order on the bike, in one word it is better not to Kozma Prutkov to say: “Be careful!”.
Passing intersections and crossing roads
In general, you can go through the intersection in four ways: continue straight ahead, turn right or left, and turn around. A cyclist is allowed to turn right at all usual intersections, as it is done from the extreme right position. the cyclist’s legal place.
A cyclist can also move straight ahead from his lane, while he will have an advantage over turning to the right. If the right lane only goes to a turn, then in order to drive straight, you need to rebuild into the next lane, having previously made way for everyone who is not going to rebuild.
The bicycle driver is allowed to turn left and change direction only from roads with one lane in each direction and no tram lines. By the way, about trams: at intersections they have an advantage over a bicycle, if the red light is off for it, it does not leave a secondary road or a depot.
Warning directions for turning: “right”. outstretched arm to the right side, “left” and “U-turn”. outstretched arm to the left. It is necessary to show the direction of the turn in advance, before the maneuver.
There are several types of intersections:
- Unregulated, equivalent roads.
- No traffic lights, with a specific priority.
The first type of intersection is driven by the rule “obstacle on the right”. We look to the right and we skip everything that moves from there. When turning left at such intersections, you must skip the entire oncoming lane, if it does not have its own obstacle to the right (to the left of the bike).
Priority intersections are road intersections where, according to the rules, some pass without looking, while others give way. The former move along the main road, the latter are on the secondary road. On the main road, the bicycle takes precedence, as does the car. However, you need to be careful, slow down a little and drive only if, in fact, they are allowed to do it.
The most unpleasant maneuver on the main road is the exit to the left. Here you will first need to skip all the passing ones, and then the oncoming ones. Sometimes the main road can change direction: there is an information sign under the sign. If such a road turns to the left, then you do not need to let anyone through. On a secondary road, the bike is inferior to everyone who is driving on the main road if it intends to go straight or to the left, and only to future passing vehicles. when turning right.
Regulated intersections are usually major street intersections where left turns will be prohibited. There are two ways to rotate:
- Get off the bike and cross the roads on zebras.
- Go through the “corner”: straight onto the green, turn 90 degrees and then go straight on to the green again. This can be done where there are no pedestrian crossings, and if there are no cars at the edge of the road. In general, the first option is safer.
It is allowed to drive straight and to the right on a green signal, including a flashing one. You can end the crossing at yellow and even red. If the traffic light flashes yellow or is off, then we look at the priority signs or get off and cross the road on foot.
There are also T-shaped regulated intersections. They are interesting in that you can turn left off the road without a direct passage, even if the number of lanes is more than one. To do this, in advance, you need to go to the left lane and calmly turn to the green one: the bike will be to the right of everyone and will not create interference. Do not forget to give turn signals when changing lanes and before turning.
Attention! When turning right or left, cross the pedestrian crossing only if there are no people on it. That is, we act like in a car: we skip all pedestrians at the turns, we also let them complete the transition.
You need to cross the road with a bicycle with your own feet, along a pedestrian crossing. Unfortunately, many neglect this and move right on the saddle. This cannot be done for the following reasons:
- You can knock a pedestrian on a zebra crossing.
- There is a danger of crashing into the curb and flying off the bike.
- The driver of a car from a turn may not notice the cyclist and hit him.
The same applies to controlled crossings (without an intersection): the rules clearly state that a cyclist must cross the carriageway as a pedestrian. A self-respecting bike rider always remembers where he can and where he shouldn’t.
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Where is it allowed to ride bicycles
In section 24 of these road traffic regulations in April 2014, several points related to cycling were officially included.
Cyclists over the age of 14 can now ride:
- along lanes on highways, marked with markings or corresponding road signs for cycling and / or pedestrian traffic;
- on the right edge of the carriageway;
- on the roadsides, as well as sidewalks;
- on footpaths.
You need to drive in accordance with each of the following items on the list, if the previous ones are absent. For example, when there is no cycle or cycle path, you can drive along the right side of the road. If this edge is small or not suitable for driving, then choose the side of the road, etc.
Where should cyclists ride according to traffic rules?
Along a dedicated lane for cyclists or bike paths.
over, these options are arranged in order of preference according to the rules. If there is a speck, then the cyclist should not leave the carriageway. If there is no speck and the right edge of the carriageway is covered with snow or debris, or crowded with cars, then the cyclist must ride along the side of the road. If the roadside is littered, then along the sidewalk. That is, the cyclist must sometimes ride on the sidewalk, while not interfering with the movement of pedestrians.
Existing traffic rules are loyal to cyclists, they do not need to pass exams, show knowledge and skills, get a license.
So there are still requirements for cyclists in the rules
Additional requirements for cyclists
In addition to the main points of the rules, there are a number of additional requirements for persons operating bicycles:
- If the bike in the places permitted for its passage interferes with other road users, the driver must dismount.
- A dismounted cyclist must follow the traffic rules written for pedestrians.
- Be attentive to road signs that allocate special lanes for bicycle traffic.
What is SPM?
In the draft amendments to the traffic rules, an attempt was made to legitimize new means that are used for movement: electric unicycle, electric scooters, gyro scooters, and so on.
“A pedestrian is a person who moves using devices (except for bicycles) with an electric motor and a maximum design speed determined by its technical characteristics, no more than 25 km / h” (draft amendments to the traffic rules)
The head of the column considers equating all SPMs to pedestrians as a controversial decision. On the one hand, it is declared that these are different road users, on the other, they are equal in their rights.
Probably, they want to oblige unicycle drivers and electric scooters to move along sidewalks (or bike paths, but more on that later) and cross the carriageway on a zebra crossing. However, it seems that few people think about what will happen when interacting with pedestrians.
You can, of course, reproach passers-by who do not look back every five seconds and do not wait for the approach of the cyclist. But this is natural: walking and running are invented by nature, by nature itself. If we choose any vehicle invented by man, then we are automatically responsible.
So far, in Minsk and other cities, they are just beginning to master mono-wheels and gyro scooters. And in Europe they have already booted problems with them. These vehicles collided with pedestrians more than once, and people were seriously injured. How can these conflicts be resolved? Who should understand?
In response, some large cities, such as Barcelona, have taken rather harsh measures by limiting the use of electric scooters.
“I’m afraid that our pedestrians would not have to hang a camera on their foreheads so that in the event of a collision it would be easier to establish the circumstances,” the head of the column exaggerates. And then in the news we will read “Got run over by a monowheel”, “A skier crashed into a skate on the roadway” or “An electric scooter and a pedestrian had a fight”.
Another change to personal mobility aids is related to the speed of their movement. This point causes no less controversy.
“When crossing the carriageway on a ground pedestrian crossing, persons moving on roller skates, skis, other sports equipment, personal mobility aids must move at the speed of a pedestrian walking step” (draft amendments to the traffic rules)
“When using personal mobility means, move along the cycle path if it is structurally separated from the carriageway, and in the absence of such. along the sidewalk, footpath or shoulder, without creating obstacles to the movement of other pedestrians. The maximum speed in such cases is no more than 25 km / h “(draft amendments to the traffic rules)
There is a simple rule among road safety experts: if you can’t control, don’t commit. Until the issue of overspeeding of cars is resolved, why introduce certain limits for scooters and segways? It seems to be taking care of pedestrians, but this seems to be a deliberately impossible condition.
“The relevance of moving the NSR along cycle paths raises no less questions,” continues the presenter of “Razborov…”. Cyclists already complain that children, mothers with strollers and just passers-by go there. If it goes on like this, then bike paths run the risk of turning into a very strange phenomenon.
Can a cyclist ride on the road and how to do it according to the rules
Every road user must comply with the traffic rules. Since a bicycle is recognized as a vehicle, cyclists are also responsible for road safety. The cyclist is a full participant in the road traffic and must comply with the traffic rules. But there are certain points, a bicycle is a vehicle, a cyclist must follow the rules on the road, but cyclists do not pass exams for knowledge of these rules. It seems to me that if a cyclist has entered the road and moves along the road like cars, then the same requirements should be imposed on him.
Safe flight when maneuvering
Maneuvering on the road is a deviation from a straight line. According to traffic rules, the driver in this situation must give way to vehicles moving straight. Carriageway maneuvers are about starting, changing lanes and turning. We will consider the last category in a separate section, but now let’s talk about how to properly start the movement and rebuild.
At the beginning of the movement, it is necessary to give way to everyone who travels along the way: cars, motorcycles, other bicycles. As soon as a safe gap has formed and other rides are still far away, we deviate to the left, level the steering wheel and pick up speed. When turning onto the road from the adjacent territory (courtyards, driveways, platforms), you must also skip everyone.
Changing lanes is necessary when avoiding obstacles or moving in a permitted direction. For example, the right lane is only for right turns, but you must drive straight. The trajectory when changing lanes should be straightened as much as possible, so you need to start deviating to the left in advance. We give way to passing transport, reduce the speed. When avoiding obstacles on narrow roads with an exit to the left side, you must stop and let oncoming traffic pass. If the obstacle is on the side of the oncoming lane, then the cyclist has the advantage of passing on his territory.
How to maneuver correctly?
The turns are an integral part of cycling, and more. Maneuvering is a deviation from a straight path. According to traffic rules for cyclists, the driver must give way to another vehicle if it is moving straight. Lane changes and turns must be done correctly to avoid an accident.
The start of driving is the moment when you want to start driving. In this case, give way to all passing vehicles. At the first opportunity to leave, turn the steering wheel to the left, straighten out and continue driving. If your route is through the courtyard, then, entering it, you must also skip all oncoming vehicles.
Lane changes should be carried out smoothly, without causing disturbances on the road. Usually it needs to be done to avoid obstacles or move in a permitted direction. For example, you are driving in the middle lane and you need to turn right. Before reaching the intersection, you need to smoothly rebuild in advance. In this case, you need to skip cars and reduce speed. As for avoiding obstacles, then the one on whose side there is no fence has the advantage.
What cyclists shouldn’t do
Who can ride
The basic rules for cycling are set out in Chapter 20 of the Road Traffic Regulations. So, according to the rules, you can ride a bike on the roads unaccompanied by adults from the age of 14 (this does not apply to pedestrian and residential areas, sidewalks, bicycle and pedestrian paths).
Types of intersections
In total, there are several types of intersections: unregulated, priority and regulated. Let’s take a closer look at each one, as this information is very important for the correct movement of cyclists.
Unregulated intersections are driven by the “obstacle from the right” principle. Before turning, you must pass all vehicles that move from there. If you need to turn left, then you should skip the entire oncoming lane.
Priority intersections are those intersections where, according to traffic rules, some pass through, no matter what, while others give way. Here the priority of roads comes first: main and secondary. In order to avoid problems with the definition, it is necessary to carefully study the rules for cycling. If you are driving along the main lane, you need to slow down a little before the intersection, you need to keep in mind that not everyone knows about the rules. If you need to turn left at such an intersection, then in this case it is necessary to skip vehicles moving from all directions.
Regarding regulated intersections, they are street intersections where it is forbidden to turn left. However, there are certain tricks in the rules for cycling. For example, you can do the maneuver in two ways:
- get off the vehicle and walk along the pedestrian crossing;
- drive a 90-degree angle, first straight to the end, turn left and straight again. This option is suitable for those roads where there are no zebras and cars standing nearby.
Passage of intersections
The rules for cycling on the carriageway about crossing intersections boil down to the fact that you can pass it in one of four ways: straight, right, left and turn around. It should be noted that turning to the right is allowed in all situations, if there is no prohibiting sign. The right side is considered the cyclist’s legal seat, so there should be no questions about maneuvering. Also, the driver can go straight without changing lanes. There are cases when the right side is intended exclusively for turning, then you should still change lanes and drive in the right direction.
With the maneuver to turn and turn left, things are more complicated. The cyclist has the right to change the trajectory only on those roads where there is one lane in each direction. A prerequisite is the absence of tram lines. It should be noted that, all other things being equal, the tram has priority over the bicycle.
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How to ride a bike on the road
Where can you ride a bike
1 Can I ride my bike on the carriageway? You can, if your vehicle meets the above requirements, and you yourself are over 14 years old. In this case, you should keep as much to the right as possible (although the interval in the traffic rules is not indicated) and try not to interfere with other road users.
This means you don’t have to hustle or drive on the side of the road so that rushing motorists do not have to waste time detouring your bike. Take it to the right, but look that there is normal asphalt under the wheels, you are the same participant in the movement.
There is one more psychological moment. the car driver will always try to penetrate at speed between you and the occupied oncoming lane, if you give him such an opportunity. On a narrow road with oncoming traffic, it is simply dangerous to huddle to the side of the road. cars will pass you very tightly, without slowing down. It is better to take a position on the road that is understandable for everyone so that motorists do not have harmful desires.
If a whole column of cars has accumulated behind you, then you should not be principled. go to the side of the road and let the sufferers pass.
2 Can you ride on sidewalks? A controversial point that always evokes a storm of emotions in the comments. First, let’s agree that the sidewalk is a sidewalk, not a mixed cycle path. Traffic rules state that cycling on the sidewalk is prohibited for persons over 14 years of age, but right there in article 24.2 we see the following exception:
Cyclists over the age of 14 are allowed to move along the sidewalk or footpath. in the following cases: there are no cycle and cycle paths, a lane for cyclists or there is no opportunity to move along them, as well as along the right edge of the carriageway or shoulder;
It turns out that if it is not possible to move along the right edge of the carriageway, you can go to the sidewalk. The right side of the road is littered, covered with snow, parked cars, construction equipment, etc.
In any city that is not sharpened for cycling, the right edge of the roadway will be difficult to access, so you have every right to use the sidewalk, and Ecelop has no right to beat you at night, the police have no right to fine you. On the sidewalk, the bike has no advantage and in the event of an accident with pedestrians, the situation will be interpreted against you.
In addition, paragraph 24.6 of the SDA states that “if the movement of a cyclist on the sidewalk, footpath, shoulder or within pedestrian zones endangers or interferes with the movement of other persons, the cyclist must dismount and be guided by the requirements provided for by these Rules for the movement of pedestrians”.
You also have no advantages on a mixed cycle path, riding there is a very nervous thing, because on the one hand, you seem to be in legal territory, and on the other hand, pedestrians regard this place as a sidewalk.
Accordingly, as a rule, people do not control their children and pets, so it is better not to accelerate and keep attention all the time.
Side spacing is the width distance. Safe and comfortable road riding requires maintaining distance and spacing so that, in the event of a dangerous situation, the cyclist can turn to the side.
In the event of a reduction in the distance with the vehicle in front, you need to slow down the pace, or vice versa. to accelerate if the distance decreases with the vehicle coming from behind.
In the case of parallel movement, you should not snuggle too close to parked or passing vehicles, and there are good reasons for this:
- There is a chance to fall on the car as a result of bumps on the road.
- The car may offend the cyclist in any way.
- The door of a stationary vehicle may open suddenly.
So, mindfulness is the key to safe cycling. In this case, you should carefully monitor what is happening on the sides and in front.
The road is movement, so the environment can change every second. It is useful to purchase a special rear-view mirror and fix it on the steering wheel, thanks to which it will be possible to follow the road also from behind.
Correct cycling technique
After the first question of a novice cyclist about how to ride a bike in general, not everyone asks about how to ride a bike correctly. However, over the years and bumps, the understanding will come that your skills should be improved. Let’s take a look at the basic things about cycling. How to position and how to pedal, how to drive bumps and what not to do under any circumstances.
Note that, first of all, we are always talking about security. The speed and efficiency of efforts are the lot of sports training, amateurs and beginners should always think about their health and the health of their bike.
The cycling technique is supported by a few basic tips:
The point of particular danger is the first trips with the contact pedals, especially on public roads. The clip-on pedals maximize the use of muscle forces, but also block the movement of the feet. Therefore. contact pedals are a topic for a separate discussion.
Some bike parameters require constant checking, rather than a one-time adjustment for a long time.
As much as you would like to “sit down and ride”, the first thing you need to do before riding a bike is to check the pressure in the wheels. Depending on the intensity of skiing and, most importantly, the upcoming track, even on the same tires, the pressure should be changed.
- Smooth asphalt. wheels can be pumped to maximum, but not pumped. Over-pumped wheels wear out quickly and can burst at the most inopportune moment;
- Rough terrain. medium pumping, the wheels should visibly bend and “portray a snail”.
Separately, it is worth noting the shock absorber settings, usually on a mountain bike, this is only the front one. On asphalt, the fork can be locked to save energy; when descending a mountain, make it harder so as not to roll over.
In addition, before riding, you should always check the performance of all bike components. brakes and derailleurs.
The basis of proper road driving is pedaling. The main parameter when driving is cadence. this is the cadence. Depending on it and on the load, the effect of riding and the recommended techniques change.
Let’s start by choosing and setting up a bike. The size and combination of parts determines how the body, arms and legs of the bicycle are positioned. Landing is the base of how a person drives. If sitting is uncomfortable, no amount of skills and training will help, but real health problems will arise. knees, back and arms.
- The cadence must be stable. the guarantee of a long and pleasant ride is a stable load. It is both good for the body and effective;
- It is advisable to know the ideal cadence. it is easy to catch it in practice, studying the state of the body for about 10 trips;
- Do not slow down your cadence when you change incline. including accelerating downhill. Fortunately, most modern bicycles are equipped with speeds;
- Pedals should be rotated, not trampled. That is, the load should be in all positions, not just on the “comfortable” quarter of the circle;
- For any unpleasant sensations in the body, it is better to slow down or stop altogether.