Now that we’ve been embracing the bike life for National Bike Month in Conejo Valley for a couple of weeks, it’s a good time to review some rules and bike safety tips to use when you’re out there on the roads or trails. Proper safety will ensure you’re not unexpectedly sidelined during your visit!
Cyclists share the road with other vehicles and trail space with walkers, joggers and horseback riders. Let’s make sure we can all enjoy the spaces safely and side-by-side.
General Bike Safety
The first and most important safety rule in Conejo Valley and everywhere else: Wear a helmet! This is required by law for everyone under age 18, but it’s a good idea to wear one as an adult, too.
Along with wearing a helmet, remember to use common sense and pay attention when you’re riding. Listen, look and keep your eyes on the road for potential hazards.
Try to stay in your own lane when you’re on the road, and stay only on clearly identified trails if you’re riding on the Conejo Valley trails. Remember to obey all traffic signs, and watch for oncoming traffic including cars, animals, other riders and pedestrians.
Proper Road and Trail Behavior
Remember, if you’re cycling on the street, you are part of the traffic flow. Ride with the traffic; not against it.
When riding on a trail, you’re likely going faster than people on foot – and pedestrians always have the right of way. If you’re looking to get around someone, be sure to pass on their left, moving to the right only once you’ve passed them safely. Call out “passing on your left!” to avoid startling someone.
Need to stop for a quick breather or to check your map or equipment? Pull off the road or trail completely so you don’t get hit or cause an accident.
When you’re on a road with a bike lane, you must stay in the bike lane unless you’re turning left, passing someone or avoiding something in the road. If you are riding in a group, ride single-file both on the road and on the trail. This keeps the space clear of congestion, and helps everyone avoid accidents.
There’s something magical about riding under the stars, but it can also be a risky time to be on the road or trail.
If you choose to take a bike ride in the dark, you are required by law to wear a forward-facing white light. It should be bright enough to provide 300 feet of visibility in front of you and to your sides. It is also a good idea to wear bright or reflective clothing so that oncoming traffic can easily spot you.
OK, enough with the rules – keep these bike safety tips in mind and continue to have fun safely exploring the Conejo Valley by bike!