It’s Bike To Work Season! How to Protect Yourself and Others
Written by Teryn Burna – Physiotherapist, Vestibular & Concussion Rehabilitation
With spring in the air, many more people are putting on their helmets and cruising the streets on two wheels. At Treloar we get a number of patients in with bike-related injuries, either being hit as the cyclist or being hit by a bike, and we want to help ensure that everyone is safe out there.
As a novice bike commuter, I’ve learned a few things in my first year cruising to work that I would like to pass along.
1. Get visible
● Wear bright clothing.
● Attach lights both to the front AND the back of your bike.
● Add a light or reflector to be visible from the sides.
2. Use arm signals
● Help others on the road by telling them your intentions to avoid confusion and possible collisions!
3. Obey traffic signals
● Being on a bike doesn’t give us any special privileges through roundabouts, stop signs, etc… please obey the rules of the road.
● Stay in the bike lanes whenever possible as that is what makes the roads safest for everyone.
● Thank drivers for stopping to help spread positive interactions between cars and bikes.
5. Wear a helmet
● We assume you would like to avoid head injuries
6. Safeguard your bike
● Register your bike on @Garage529. This is Vancouver’s largest community-powered bike recovery service.
● Lock your bike up in a secure place.
7. Ensure your bike fits properly
● The seat height should allow your knee to be straight, but not locked, at the end of the pedal stroke
● The handlebars should be at a distance that you can reach comfortably without feeling like you’re cramped or over-stretched
● A good fit will keep your body happy on your commute
● If you need help, seek professional help from a trained bike fitter
As drivers, we also have a responsibility to do what we can to make safety a priority when sharing the road.
1. Be aware
• Be on the lookout, and make eye contact whenever possible.
• Check your mirrors and shoulder check your blind spot when changing lanes or turning.
2. Look BEFORE you open your door
• Have you heard of THE DUTCH REACH? Click here to find out why you should know about it!
3. Keep your distance
• When passing a cyclist, maintain a distance of at least one metre.
4. Respect bike lanes
• Bike lanes are reserved for cyclists. Please do not drive in bike lanes and always yield to cyclists when crossing bike lanes to access driveways or parking spots.
5. It isn’t always sunny in Vancouver
• For those rainy days, slow down and give cyclists extra room so they can maneuver safely.
Let’s all do what we can to prioritize safety on the roads and make room for all commuters – whether you have 2 wheels or 4!