Bike the Heights
By Anastasia Thrift
One of the few Coronavirus-related lockdown activities outside the home that gets the green light is bike-riding. It takes place in fresh air, can be done safely distanced from friends, and you don’t have to touch a single thing but your handlebars.
Want to make it even safer? Follow some simple rules.
Stick to the Streets
Michelle Mowery, former Mobility Officer with the Department of Public Works says, “bikes have the right to be in the motor lane and have clearance in the door zone” to prevent being “doored.”
“You’re almost always safer on the roadway instead of the sidewalk because of driveways and corners,” she continues.
Get the Right Gear
The Los Angeles County bicycle code is specific on visibility. It requires:
Lights at night — A white headlight or white light attached to the rider and visible from the front; and
Reflectors — A rear red reflector and white or yellow pedal reflectors; white or yellow reflectors on the front of the bicycle, visible from the side, and a red or white reflector on the rear of the bicycle, visible from the side.
The code is also clear on headwear. Although everyone is safer with one, the law only requires that people 18 and younger wear helmets. Still, in a time when people are avoiding emergency rooms and hospitalizations, why be risky?
Go With the Flow
Always ride the same direction as car traffic. Stay to the right and you’ll be more visible. Plus, you’ll avoid any abrupt encounters closer than 6-feet-away.
Brake and Wait
Both cyclists and motorists must obey all traffic signals, like stop signs and red lights. In addition, there’s a hierarchy on the roadways: cars yield to bikes and bikes yield to pedestrians. When seeing people at stops and crosswalks, brake completely and wait for them to pass.
These rules highlight the four main policies listed in the County code. Follow them to safely cycle and get the vitamin D you’ve been missing since lockdown began. For more advice on being a safer rider, visit GO ACTIVE LB.