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Staying Alert

Ride defensively and expect the unexpected. Keep both hands ready to brake, and be aware of traffic around you. Many accidents occur at driveways or other intersections, check for traffic and always look left-right-left before beginning your ride and entering roadways.

Make eye contact with drivers, assume that other drivers don’t see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact is important with any driver which might pose a threat to your safety.

Scan the road behind, learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving. Some riders use rear-view mirrors or mirrors attached to the frames of glasses.

Keep a look-out for obstacles in your path. Watch out for potholes, sewer grates, cracks, railroad tracks, loose gravel, rocks, broken glass, and other debris can cause a bicyclist to lose control. Before going around any object, look ahead and behind you for a free gap in traffic. Plan your move, and then signal you intentions. If you are unsure, or lack the skill to handle an especially rough area, pull off to the right side of the road and walk your bicycle around the rough area.

Be especially careful in wet weather, riding on wet roadways is hazardous. Water can make you slip and make your brakes work improperly. Wet weather also poses visibility problems, for cars and bicycles.