Riding safely, safety equipment, and safe places to ride.

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18
votes
6answers
4k views

What should I look for when buying a used bicycle?

I'm moving to a city where I can ride a bicycle to the grocery store, coffee shop etc. I want to purchase a decent used bicycle. I'm leaning towards a bike that's in between a "10-speed" or road-bike ...
45
votes
21answers
6k views

Is listening to music dangerous while cycling? [closed]

This wouldn't apply to riding technical trails or anything challenging, but are there any reasons to eschew the tunes while riding? Noise canceling earbuds would probably be hazardous to myself and ...
43
votes
8answers
3k views

When or how often should I replace my bike helmet?

I’ve fallen a couple times, but no serious damage is visible on the helmet except for a couple divots here and there. Should I consistently be replacing my helmet after a certain amount of time? ...
39
votes
25answers
5k views

How can I make my bike (and myself) visible at night?

By winter I will be commuting on my bike at night. How can I make my bike as visible as possible to all car drivers?
7
votes
3answers
589 views

What are the features that I should seek in cycling glasses?

I am seeking eye protection for cycling. I don't know if I should buy glasses or goggles.
51
votes
5answers
5k views

Safety data: Which is safer, head/tail lights which blink or emit a steady beam?

My head and tail lights can be set to blink or emit a steady beam of light. I usually set my rear (red) light to blink, because I believe it makes me more visible at night. My friend argues that it ...
56
votes
12answers
2k views

Is pollution a problem in urban cycling?

I usually ride a bicycle in Barcelona. I'm concerned about pollution and I take an anti-pollution mask. Of course, some people scream because they confuse me with Hannibal Lecter but currently that's ...
18
votes
10answers
8k views

Using a ski helmet for winter biking

I am cuirious if anyone uses a skiing helmet for winter biking? Would this be safe? Are skiing helmets designed to protect you from the same kind of acidents that you would have on a bike? I am ...
15
votes
11answers
728 views

Urban Cycling Safety Innovations

Portland, Oregon is one of several U.S. cities with a progressive bicycling culture. A couple of innovations the city has implemented are "bike boxes" and "sharrows". Bike boxes are road markings ...
9
votes
1answer
222 views

Water safety during touring?

This question raised a new sub-problem of which I was not at all aware of. I carry a heater to boil the water before I drink it but I am unsure whether it removes all dirt from water. Please, note ...
34
votes
9answers
5k views

Why don't cyclists wear all-encompassing motorcycle-style helmets?

It is possible to get a helmet that covers your entire head and face, and in theory would protect you against more kinds of falls. In particular, Why don't bicyclists wear them, and why do ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

Night cycling: Is it worth using electroluminescent wire?

It's currently winter in the UK, so for my commete to and from work I need lights and reflective surfaces for safety. I've read about local people losing their lives cycling, so I don want to make ...
20
votes
11answers
762 views

Safety guidelines for cycling in traffic

Please post your safety tips for cycling/commuting that should help you get to your destination place in one piece. I came across a nice printed guideline a few years ago when working as courier, it ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the recommended type of tire for riding on wet pavement?

I am commuting in rainy Seattle, and the rain has started. Right now I have Continental Gatorskin tires on my commuter, but yesterday I noticed I was braking to stop the wheels and skidding quite a ...
34
votes
14answers
6k views

Safest way to slow down a bike quickly if both sets of brakes fail

This may sound like a crazy question, however today in the wet my rear brakes decided to stop working effectively. It has been pouring rain here which makes the problem more apparent. I managed to ...
23
votes
6answers
579 views

What is a good camera arrangement for city riding?

I would like to have continuous camera coverage while commuting on city streets, in order to have evidence in any collision. I have been experimenting with an ATC3K mounted on the pannier rack, ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Which states or countries have stop-sign-as-yield laws for bicyclists (Idaho stop law)?

In Idaho (PDF), bicyclists are allowed to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs (essentially; see the actual law for details). This seems like a very reasonable approach, balancing ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Is fluorescent clothing effective?

I read recently that fluorescent clothing was not effective at all at night. If this is the case, how effective is it during the day, and should I stop buying tops that are fluorescent to use on my ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

What are some alternatives to fruitlessly ringing my bell at a motorist?

I doubt that motor-vehicle drivers can hear the "ding" sound that a bicycle bell makes. What are some better alternatives?
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Are anti-pollution masks effective?

In Toronto when the temperature goes above 30 degrees Celcius (90 degrees Farenheit), for a few days and without wind, there is smog. I find the smog irritates and makes it difficult to breathe in ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I prevent cars from passing me too closely?

Recently, a driver buzzed by me, leaving just a couple of inches between my handlebars and his car. It was very scary. In general, how can I prevent cars from passing me too closely? Please cite ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

Are runners or pedestrians allowed to use the bike lane?

This morning on my commute I encountered a runner in the bike lane I was riding in. This irked me because: The bike lane was on a busy street, with three lanes of motor vehicle traffic in each ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

What should I consider when buying a respirator?

I'm using my bicycle to ride from home to work and back. Now I face a problem that the air is not so clean: dust, car exhaust etc. So I'm thinking of buying a respirator (i.e., an anti-pollution ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a way to hop up onto a parallel curb?

The scenario: you're riding in a curb-adjacent, paint-only bike lane. You happen to look over your shoulder (or in your mirror) and see a vehicle approaching from behind, either fully in the bike ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

What are my options for cycling mirrors?

What options are available in terms of types of cycling mirrors? Where all can I mount them and what are the advantages and disadvantages to each?
13
votes
7answers
853 views

Why should I use a mirror?

In a comment to an answer about helmet replacement mention was made of a mirror and perhaps suggesting that a helmet was merely a good place to mount a mirror. I, hopefully humorously, suggested that ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What hand signals work best for cyclists in the US?

I am looking for some guidance on what hand signals and strategies to keep me alive on the roads.
11
votes
8answers
785 views

When should cyclists use pedestrian facilities?

I generally try to ride in traffic as a vehicle, following the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, taking the lane, etc. In many urban areas, you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

If I report intentional dangerous driving to police, will it have any effect?

Today I was riding ~3 feet out from parked cars (dooring is the most common way to get killed) and this pickup truck comes up behind me and just lays on its horn for an entire block. The driver was ...
8
votes
4answers
877 views

Is it generally the case that bikes are allowed to use the “full lane”?

Many blogs and other sources of information on cycling advocate "riding like a car" or "taking the lane" as a way to increase safety and visibility when riding on a road. But such advice presupposes ...
5
votes
2answers
716 views

Different tyre width (front and back)

Out of necessity, I had to put an 1.26" (32mm) rear tyre on my bike where the front tyre is only 1.1" (28mm) wide (and the bike came with 1.1" tyres when I bought it). Are there any advantages or ...
41
votes
9answers
6k views

Why is it safer to bike with traffic, instead of facing oncoming cars?

There has been an ongoing debate in my area's local newspaper, regarding biking with vs. against the flow of traffic. A recent incident in which a cyclist was hit from behind, and later died of his ...
30
votes
2answers
840 views

Does a helmet-mounted light affect the safe functionality of the helmet?

I am currently testing a bunch of lights for my (slowly) upcoming head lights review. Several of the lights can be mounted to a helmet using a mounting strap, like this: I'm wondering if having a ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I bring an old bike up to speed?

I'm an adult that is new to biking due to a triple whammy of a childhood aversion to effort, my family moving to a town on the side of a mountain with steep roads, and my bike getting run over by a ...
29
votes
8answers
769 views

How can I be visible in the dark when I'm signalling a turn?

My bike and I are fairly visible at night--white light in front, red light in the back, bright yellow fenders, reflective tabs and a light on my helmet. I use hand signals to alert motorists when I'm ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

How should a bicycle helmet fit?

I see enough folks wearing helmets in such a manner that they might as well not be. What is the proper way to fit & wear a bicycle helmet?
18
votes
11answers
379 views

Safely overtaking pedestrians

When riding on bike paths or mixed-use paths, there are usually pedestrians walking along them as well. Pedestrians tend to be somewhat unpredictable; they may suddenly turn around or step to the ...
15
votes
11answers
960 views

How can I look unsafe to a car driver but be safe

This research seems to show car drivers give you more space if they think you are more likely to do something unpredictable. It claims that where a cycle helmet often results in drivers giving you ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it legal to pass a car on the right when that car is turning?

So I've been poring over the bikes SE, and as a recreational biker and an automobile commuter, I'm naturally most interested in topics addressing how bikes interact with automotive traffic. In one ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Bicycling and a Right Turn Only Lane?

When commuting with a bike I usually stick to the right lane (I am based in the USA). When approaching a right turn only lane while biking, should I stay in the turn lane and signal to the car behind ...
14
votes
6answers
547 views

If I'm riding on the road, and there is a red light but a walk signal in my direction, should I go?

I frequently come to stop lights in which there is an all-way stop and a pedestrian signal. I always stop at such lights, but I'm wondering if I should then bike slowly across after determining that ...
7
votes
6answers
352 views

Left Turn Across Major Intersection

I'm new at biking, and have seen many examples of left-turn situations, but none that quite match this one. Simply, what is the proper / best way to complete the turn pictured below, or is it smarter ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you shift your weight when leaning on a turn?

When I turn I usually shift my weight on the same side I'm turning to. To ease the discussion let's assume we are turning left, on a paved road (no mud/gravel/potholes/grease/oil/ice/door traps). I ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I really need to replace my helmet every 2-3 years if it hasn't been in a crash?

OK, I know from the top answer here: When or how often should I replace my bike helmet?, that I should buy a new helmet every 2-3 years, even if it hasn't been in a crash and shows no signs of damage. ...
15
votes
4answers
887 views

Why are battery-powered lights so popular?

Both on this site and "in real life", battery-powered lights appear to be at least as popular as generator-powered lights. I have always been slightly confused by this. To me, a generator-powered ...
13
votes
5answers
523 views

What to do after an accident?

This morning I almost witnessed an accident. I was a couple of hundred metres behind the incident but arrived at the scene when a pedestrian was picking a bike from the middle of the road, a ...
11
votes
5answers
490 views

Most favoriable collision with a car? How should I act before collision, supposing enough time?

Suppose a car is going to collide with you. What can you do to minimise the consequences? By collision I mean that it may be intentional or an accident. Anyway I am looking for tips on how to act in ...
11
votes
7answers
403 views

Hand signaling while decelerating

I'm nervous about hand signalling (taking a hand off the handle bar) while I'm decelerating: I'm worried that my body being pushed forward will act on the one remaining hand and change the angle of ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

What's the safest way to turn left from a right-side bike lane?

(United States road configuration and customs here. Sorry, those of you who drive on the left!) On my trip home, I use a bike lane near the right side of a very busy one-way arterial street; there is ...
10
votes
5answers
656 views

How do you know if you can trust your LBS?

I've visited a lot of bike shops in my time. There have been great ones, and scary ones. One thing I've noticed is that they all seem to have the best intentions. I've never had one deliberately rip ...