In bicycling, as in life, there are certain behaviors which create a safe, friendly environment for individuals and communities. Graduates of Effective Cycling agree that implementing the following basic principles has greatly improved their enjoyment of bicycling as a means of transportation and recreation.
- Don a properly fitted helmet before every ride.
- Conduct an ABC Quick Check of thy bicycle's mechanical road worthiness before every ride.
- A is for AIR--check the air pressure in the tires and general condition of the tires.
- B is for BRAKES--check for proper functioning of front and rear brakes.
- C is for CRANK SET--check the crank arms and bottom bracket for secure adjustments.
- Quick is for Quick Releases; make certain that releases of wheels, brakes and seat posts are engaged and secure.
- Check is for a brief ride around the parking lot to confirm that the derailleurs and shift levers are working properly.
Obey traffic laws: ride on the right, slowest traffic farthest to the right. Ride predictably and be visible at all times. Drive thy bicycle in the proper lane and, when approaching an intersection, select the right-most lane that leads to thy destination. Scan for overtaking traffic and signal lane changes and turns, when necessary to communicate with other drivers. Be prepared for mechanical emergencies by carrying and knowing how to use essential repair tools as well as having personal identification with thee on rides. Maintain control of thy bicycle at all times by developing and practicing good bike handling skills. Drink before becoming thirsty and eat before becoming hungry in order to keep thy human engine comfortably fueled throughout thy ride. Have fun!Effective Cycling courses are now being offered across the country. To enhance your cycling skills, attend a course. Send a SASE or call the League's Education Department to receive a list of Effective Cycling Instructors offering these courses in your area.
This article is from the July/August 1996 issue of Bicycle USA (magazine of the League of American Bicyclists). Each issue of Bicycle USA features an Effective Cycling column like the one above. The column is provided as part of our benefit package as an affiliated club of the League of American Bicyclists (L.A.B.), and will focus on various aspects of Effective Cycling (EC). EC is the only nationally recognized bicycling education program. If you would like to learn more about L.A.B. or the EC program, visit their website http://www.bikeleague.org or phone them at 202-822-1333.