We’ve pulled together content from several resources to help you get on your bike a little quicker. This is a great time to start a new hobby, or pick up an old one. We can’t express it enough though, please respect the social distancing orders of at least six feet whenever you are in public places (including sidewalks, greenways, trails, or streets). And secondly, we want to express, have fun! Read through these tips below to get you on your way to riding your bike.
Increased road safety: There are way fewer cars on the road as folks hunker down to work from home or avoid social situations. Nearly every major event is canceled. The upside? No one is driving to anything. The roads are about as car-free as they’ve been since the advent of the automobile. So if close contact with fast-hurdling vehicles was one of the reasons you opted out before, consider riding now.
Personal safety: You can still easily social distance while riding a bike.
Health: Gyms are closed. Workout classes have been canceled. Biking, along with walking, hiking, and running are really the only options if you’d like to get out of your house; get some fresh air; and maintain good spirits.
I Want to Ride – Now What?
Tune up your bike: If your bike doesn’t need much work, it’s good to do the ABC Quick Check before you ride to make sure your bike’s systems are in good working order.
Find a route: If you don’t know where to go, Google Maps bicycling directions is a good place to start. Open Google Maps, turn on the Biking layer under the Layers icon if on mobile; turn on Bicycling under Menu if on desktop. BikeWalkBG, your local organization advocating for biking and walking, also has local bike route maps. Check out our latest map here.
In general, plan your route on greenways and/or dedicated bike lanes where possible, and where impossible, choose residential streets where traffic will be slower. There is no shame in hopping off your bike and walking a few blocks if you need.
Follow the rules: If you’re new to cycling, it’s good to learn the rules of the road before you head out in order to stay safe. Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as cars. That includes stopping at red lights and always yielding to pedestrians, no matter what. If you’re short on time, check out this basic road rules list. The one guideline that should serve you well in any biking scenario is this: Ride predictably. This means following all traffic signs and signals; using hand signals; and generally communicating your intentions to other road users. If you have a helmet, please wear it.
Have Fun! In these trying and uncertain times, biking can be a great stress relief. And a good way to feel some freedom amidst the hunkering down. Smile, wave, and share a little bit of humanity with other people biking and walking in this trying time.