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Tips for Safe Cycling and how not to Violate Bicycle Laws while Driving

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 26, 2016 11:33:23 AM / by Andy Rosevear posted in Tips for Safe Cycling and Bike Laws

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When riding bikes is your full-time job, you learn a lot of lessons about what to expect in traffic and how to stay safe, and every city is a little different. In Boston you have to take in as much information about your environment as possible because everything is moving and changing so fast. You're moving through gridlock, you have to remember your route because roads tend to curve or change names. You get pretty good at predicting which driver will turn without signalling and looking through windows or reflections to see as many points as possible so you don't get surprised by a pedestrian weaving between backed up cars. You have to watch driver's mirrors to see if they're planning to open a door without looking or are distracting themselves with a phone (I've even caught people engrossed in actual books on their steering wheel in moving traffic and people playing Candy Crush while driving! One time I got the response, "I'm not texting, I'm writing an email!"). There's a lot of reckless people out there, and just obeying traffic laws won't always keep you safe. 

Riding in Buffalo is a little different because there is so little congestion, but you still have to watch out for bad and intentionally reckless drivers. The most important thing to remember is to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Green light? Check the cross roads anyway. Coming up to an intersection but going straight? Check behind you anyway in case a driver is close enough to try overtaking and cutting you off. Be predictable in traffic and signal if you're turning (and definitely use good front and rear lights if riding at night or in the rain!), but don't assume a driver has seen you. Sometimes a driver will look you right in the eyes but unconsciously ignore you and step on the gas anyway. Be alert and ready to stop or evade if necessary at any time when riding a bike, but most importantly, pay attention and practice safe driving habits when you're traveling by car!   
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