Since Covid-19, the bicycle and electric bicycle industry has experienced unprecedented enthusiasm. Inevitably, bike lanes fill up at high speed, it’s an opportunity to give you some tips for good driving, as well as some important rules to remember and apply.
In two years, the bicycle market has grown by 43%, Union Sport & Cycle reported in its Cycle Observatory published in April 2022. Beyond the figures, just take a look at the bike lanes of Paris – but not only – to see this phenomenon. Both in winter and especially in summer, the bike lanes are full.
With so many users on the road, we need to double our vigilance and adopt responsible behavior, both to protect ourselves and to protect others. Therefore, this article aims to remind you of some good and obvious tips on good behavior, as well as several mandatory rules that must be followed.
Some reminders may seem useless or self-evident, but refreshing the memory of the right attitude to adopt on a bike is never too much.
Headphones and earphones, to ban
Listening to music with headphones or wireless while cycling is probably one of the most dangerous behaviors. It is extremely necessary to be attentive to the noise of the environment and to be attentive to the slightest acoustic warning (bell, horn, voice), with the risk of endangering oneself and endangering other users.
Remember that the use of headphones, such as having a telephone in your hand, is punishable by a fine of 135 euros. However, we don’t put everyone in the same basket – some people use the transparent mode of their audio device by listening to directions via Google Maps. In this case, surveillance continues.
Obey traffic lights
That being said, needless to say. But too many cyclists – again, we must not generalize – pass at red lights and cut the priority for pedestrians who have not asked for anything. Losing a few tens of seconds stopping at a red light is not a defect either. Why the hell are you in a hurry?
Remember that not respecting the stop at an orange traffic light carries a fine of 35 euros, compared to 135 euros for not respecting the passage of pedestrians. Again, respecting this rule improves everyone’s safety and reduces the risk of a possible accident.
Report changes in address
You may not know it, but one ” change of direction without notice It can cost you 35 euros. Always indicating your intentions with your arm – turn right or left – is a way of giving essential information to other road users.
That way, a cyclist behind you will probably avoid passing you if you have to cut the bike lane one way or another. This exercise in collective communication through body language is clearly not to be underestimated and should be adopted by as many people as possible.
Do not drive on sidewalks
The sidewalk is not the courtyard for cyclists, but for pedestrians. On such roads where recklessness is never far away, children and the elderly travel daily. It is important to give them this space and not oppress anyone by emergency braking or speeding too high.
Therefore, it is mandatory to continue walking with the bike in hand. And this for all cyclists over the age of eight. In this case, you are likely to put your hand in your pocket for up to 135 euros.
You can’t go through the queues on the right
Road users have the reflex to look in the left rearview mirror, or to look to the left, for information. Whether on the road in the middle of motorcyclists or on a bike lane, avoid going up a line or overtaking on the right with the risk of paying 135 euros.
Beyond the fine, what is at stake is your safety and that of others.
Common sense first
The little look that can save you
It’s a piece of advice that can’t be repeated enough, but taking a very sneak peek back on a regular basis is often helpful, despite being aware of what’s going on in front of you. This little reflection offers a better view of the space and the users around you.
Being aware of what is going on around you allows you to adapt better and anticipate dangerous situations. Seeing a high-speed electric scooter appear – because sometimes without brakes – or a full-speed bicycle will encourage you not to overtake the user in front of you, thus avoiding any dangerous situation.
Do not force the step
On a two-way bike lane, avoid forcing your way and overtaking everyone if you are queuing at a red light. It is useless to turn left here, at the risk of blocking the passage of cyclists who arrive in front of you when the traffic light turns green.
This creates discord, annoyance, and that, to gain a few seconds. Getting into the “light tail” like ordinary mortals is not very complicated and helps to smooth the overall flow. In the Rue de Rivoli at certain intersections, this bad practice is, unfortunately, too common.
In rainy weather, be careful
Like in a car or scooter, unpredictable weather should push you to double your alertness and slow down. Some tires included stains – can become very slippery on wet ground.
Driving slower means better anticipating situations and better managing braking, ideally the most progressive, to reduce the risk of losing grip and falling. After all, we are never safe from a hunting tire.
Be polite to pedestrians
Pedestrians have priority, especially when there is no traffic light to control traffic on a zebra crossing. Remember to be polite by stopping and letting pedestrians pass. Otherwise, I would welcome a cyclist who gives way to cross a road.
Protect yourself and others
Car door, surveillance required
The phenomenon ofcar doorit is extremely dangerous for the cyclist, as it could seriously injure him in the event of an accident. This happens when a person opens the door of their car without looking back before and a cyclist is right in front of that door at that moment.
The shock is usually violent, because it is sudden and brutal.
Of course, it is mainly the motorists and their passengers who have to be careful in the first place, but you too. If you are on a track where cars are approaching the bike lane, watch out. When in doubt, consider slowing down while keeping your fingers ready to attack the brake levers.
leave some space
As in a car, leaving space with the cyclist in front can be a winning behavior in the event of an accident. This allows you to better anticipate emergency braking and not crash into the person.
Too often, cyclists collide because their reaction time is too slow – caused precisely by the lack of space between the two users – which prevents them from stopping in time. Your mount and that of others will hold up much better.
The art of foresight
Even on a bike, it’s all a story of anticipation. Learn to observe the distance, the environment and to understand who is around you, who can appear from anywhere. Also, in one lane, but in both directions, do not tempt the demon to pass in front of someone while another cyclist falls in front, a few meters away.
There is a risk of finding three, almost next to each other, in a small space by a bike lane that is not wide enough. Joining friends, going home or going to work is not a race: chasing a slightly slower bike than you on a busy track is sometimes the easiest and safest solution.
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