On a Bike: Good Manners and Safe Practices!

One of my favorite things about good manners is that they often lead to safe practice. The converse is also true. Safe practice is actually good etiquette because it shows respect and consideration for others. Think about biking. There are four kids riding their bikes to the local pool:

If they travel four abreast, they may cause a car to swerve around them creating an unsafe situation either for the car or for the bikers. It’s both good manners and safe practice to ride single file when on public streets.

They should let those riding with them or driving on the same streets know what they are doing. It’s both good manners and safe practice to signal your intentions (turns and stops) to others who are sharing the road with you.

They should use a bell to signal the other bikers when they are passing so the other biker doesn’t swing out and into them or they don’t startle her. It’s both good manners and safe practice to let someone know you are overtaking them.

They should always follow the same rules of the road that cars follow: stop at stop signs; ride on the right hand side of the road; walk their bikes across the highway at traffic lights; and avoid riding the wrong way down a one-way street. It’s both good manners and safe practice to follow the rules of the road.

Always wear your helmet. It’s good manners simply because it’s the right and safe thing to do!


  1. Jody

    I would like to emphasize the “follow the rules of the road” point. I’ve seen too many bikers blow through stop signs or stoplights, thinking that just because no cars appear to be coming on the cross-street it’s OK for them to proceed. Even if drivers are following the speed limit, it’s hard for them to stop if a bike unexpectedly darts out from the side.

  2. Melissa

    I think it is also important to emphasize that DRIVERS also need to be kind and courteous to cyclists. It is, literally and metaphorically, a two way street!

  3. Jerry

    I was with this article until the last sentence when EPI somehow equated wearing a helmet with being courteous. As an initial matter, the jury is still out on the whole helmet thing. But EPI (ironically) has forgotten that manners and etiquette are about our interactions with others. Manners and etiquette do not come into play when the behavior affects only ourselves. Again, if you need some help proof reading an article, contact me about lending a critical eye.

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