Next week kicks off Bike to Work Week across BC. Thousands of Vancouverites take to the city’s streets and bike lanes for their daily commute – here are a few safety tips to use on your daily cycle. Of course, these are things you should consider and utilize every time you pedal your way to work, not just during Bike to Work Week.
Plan your route
Planning is always a good idea. Find the safest and most convenient way to get to and from work. Nearly every corner of the Lower Mainland is accessible by bicycle. And TransLink offers a very helpful page to find maps to plot your route.
Let’s face it, cyclists are much more vulnerable than commuters in passenger cars or buses. So make sure you’re seen by wearing reflective clothing or sporting reflective decals on your bike. Also, a white headlight and a rear red light are required for after dark cycling. Lights and reflective gear are absolute lifesavers for being seen in foggy or rainy conditions.
Wear a helmet
It’s not just a good idea; it’s the law in BC! Make sure you pick a helmet that fits snug and securely on your head, and fastens comfortably under your chin.
Follow the rules
Always stop at stop signs, be mindful of your speed, and walk your bike through crosswalks and on sidewalks. And always make sure you follow the right direction of your bike path – that means following the same direction as motor vehicles or following specific instructions indicated on various lanes.
Pay particular attention at intersections and when you ride beside parked cars (an unexpected car door opening is not a pleasant surprise). Make eye contact with people driving to confirm you’ve seen each other and avoid riding in the blind spots of other drivers.
While Bike to Work week is a great way to encourage more people to cycle to work for a healthier commute, safety is always the top priority. Cycle safe and enjoy the ride!