Bicycling is a fun and healthy way to travel. Carver County roads and trails offer opportunities for cycling as both a recreational activity and a means of transportation to work, school, recreation, or shopping. Not only does bicycling increase your level of physical activity, it also helps the environment by reducing air and noise pollution and decreasing traffic congestion throughout the county.
Both cyclists and motorists should be aware of save bicycling and driving practices. Bicyclists and motorists who are cautious and responsible will ensure that roads are safe and comfortable for all users.
Safety Tips for Bicyclists
Wear a helmet and don't ride with headphones Always wear a helmet. Never wear headphones while riding a bike.
Obey traffic signs and signals Learn all traffic laws. Bicycles are considered vehicles and must follow the rules of the road.
Never ride against traffic Always go single file in the same direction as other vehicles. Riding against traffic puts you where motorists don't expect to see you.
Make yourself visible Wear bright colors in daylight and use lights at night.
Stay alert Watch for road hazards such as potholes, cracks, railroad tracks, wet leaves, drainage grates, ice, gravel or anything that could make you fall.
Keep both hands on the brakes It is more difficult to stop in time if you brake one-handed.
Use hand signals Signal your turns as a way of telling motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do.
Follow lane markings Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked "right-turn only."
Keep your bike in good condition Check brakes and tires regularly.
Don't pass on the right Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
Safety Tips for Motorists
Pass with care
Give a cyclist 3 to 4 feet of space when you overtake them. As long as oncoming traffic is clear, you can cross the center line to pass a bicyclist safely, unless it is a double yellow line.
Travel at a safe following distance
Don't tailgate. Treat bicyclists the same as you would a slow moving car.
Use your turn signal
Always use your signal and make sure to do so far enough in advance so bicyclists can make an effort to stay out of your blind spot.
Look before opening your car door
Check rear-view mirrors and look over your shoulder before you open a car door on the road side.
Check the bike lane
Always look behind you when turning right across a bike lane. Even if you passed a bicyclist more than a block ago, they may have traveled fast enough to catch up with you.
Be cautious when making a left hand turn
Look for cyclists when turning left. Cyclists who are going straight through the intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you realize.
Don't blast your horn in close proximity to bicyclists. The noise can cause a cyclist to lose their bearings, resulting in a hazardous situation for everyone.
Cyclists have a right to be on the road but are vulnerable because of their size, low visibility and overall lack of protection. Be sure to scan for them in traffic and at intersections.