How to Ride a Bicycle Safely While on the Road in Louisville
Louisville has been consistently named as one of the best places to live in the US. It is a fantastic place to raise families offering reputable schools and is a safe community. Louisville also boasts of 32 miles of trails and bicycle paths perfect for cycling and outdoor enthusiasts. The US 36 Bikeway, traverses from the south of Boulder to Westminster and to the west of Louisville and Lafayette. In addition, the municipality is blessed with 1,700 acres of open space great for cycling. For these reasons, it is important to know how to stay safe in the saddle while navigating roads and traffic in the area.
Colorado Laws on Bicycle Riding
One of the first things to know is state laws affecting bicycle riding in the municipality. In Colorado, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle driver. Bike riders are expected to follow established road rules and regulations. For example, no more than two riders can keep abreast of each other on a lane. When in a thoroughfare, slow cyclists must drive on the right-hand side of the road to allow car drivers to overtake on the left. You can only stay on the left lane at a major artery when turning left.
Preventing Accidents While Cycling
The main rule is to move with the flow of traffic not against it to prevent accidents. Hand signals should be used when turning so that other riders and drivers behind you know where you are going. It is also essential to make yourself and your bicycle highly visible to fellow riders, pedestrians and vehicle drivers, day and night. To prep your bike, lights must be installed in front and at the back. Pedals must have reflectors. High visibility clothing must be worn that will alert others of your presence on the road. Although wearing a helmet is not obligatory in Louisville, it is nonetheless a good idea to don one in case of crashes and collisions. As you have the same rights as a motor vehicle driver, you must also accept the responsibilities by obeying traffic rules & regulations when cycling. Slow down when the light is amber, stop completely when it is red and yield to motorists who are on a major road if you are merging from a side road.
That said, there are many places in Louisville where you can enjoy cycling. With an average of 242 sunny days per year in the city, you can hop on the saddle and get your daily dose of cardio workout. Follow more than 2697 bike trails and routes where you can cycle healthily and safely.
Tips for Drivers:
- Expect bicyclists on the road.
- Always keep a safe following distance.
- In certain conditions, bicycles may position in the center of the lane.
- Allow at least 3 feet when passing.
- When turning, yield the right-of-way to bicycles as you would other vehicles.
- Merge into bike lanes before turning right.
- Look for bicyclists before opening a car door.
- Be vigilant when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
- Watch for children.
- Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road. It’s illegal to text and use hand held devices while driving.
- Use turn signals and obey the speed limit.
Tips for bicyclists:
- Bikes are vehicles; obey the rules of the road.
- Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
- Ride defensively – expect the unexpected.
- Ride with traffic, never against it.
- Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
- Stop for pedestrians.
- Pass on the left when overtaking a vehicle.
- Use marked bike lanes when present.
- Never ride more than two abreast.
- Maryland law restricts bicycles on sidewalks, except where allowed by local ordinance.
- Make yourself visible day and night with lights, reflectors and gear.
- Wear a helmet correctly – not tilting back.