Bike Riding Safety
Saratoga is a beautiful community that beckons the athlete in us all to get out and ride a bike. While you ride through the hills and on the streets of town, have these helpful hints in mind to keep you safe. Have fun and be safe!
- Always ride with traffic, never against it. When drivers come out of cross streets or driveways, they are often looking left for oncoming traffic look right just before turning. If you are riding against traffic, you may not be seen until the last minute and could be hit by an unsuspecting driver.
- Always wear bright clothing, never black. If you wear bright-colored clothing you will stand out and drivers will know you are there. If you wear black or dark clothing, you will blend into the landscape, especially at night or in low-light conditions such as dawn or dusk. Consider reflective strips on clothing as well.
- Wear a helmet, glasses, and have a mirror handy. Bugs and branches can be tough on the eyes, so wear glasses to protect them. A mirror on the bicycle handlebars or your glasses will help you be aware of what is behind you when making a left-hand turn. If you are unsure of what is behind you, stop, get off, and wait for traffic to clear.
- Always signal your intentions by pointing in the direction you plan on turning. Shake your hand to draw attention to your signal.
- Make eye contact with the driver in situations where it is not clear who should proceed at an intersection. If need be, give way to the car for your safety.
- Keep your eyes on the pavement. You do not want to hit a pothole, especially at speed. Be especially alert in shaded areas where a pothole cannot be easily seen. If you encounter a pothole, please take the time to report issues to the City to be fixed.
- Invest in a taillight so your bicycle can be seen, especially in low-light conditions. A front light will also provide an extra layer of safety, allowing you to see the road at night and cars to see you coming.
- Ride at least the width of a car door, about 3.5 feet, away from parked cars so you are not hit with a door by an unsuspecting driver.
- Anticipate as much as possible. Bicycle paths are a restful break from county roads, but they also have their own hazards. Be mindful when riding on paths. A child, new rider, or unsuspecting pedestrian could dart out in front of you. If you approach them from behind, call out and let them know you are coming. “On your left,” is a warning many cyclists use.