CicLAvia Tips for Safe and Happy Riding

April 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Resources | 4 Comments
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CicLAvia is just days away!! Last week we posted information about making sure your bike is in good working condition before the big day. Now we want to give you some simple tips to ensure everyone who rides a bike at CicLAvia has a blast while riding safely.

Riding a bike at CicLAvia is not like riding on your own or even with a few friends. Keep in mind there are literally thousands of people on the road and there will easily be 50 to 100 people immediately around you. Anything you do while riding, especially sudden movements, can have a ripple affect. Those sudden movements can result in a crash. Always be aware of who is around you and ride with the understanding that you’re sharing the road with a LOT of other people.

Ride on the right

Yeah, the road is closed so the usual rules don’t apply, but it’s still important to ride on the right half of road. It’s the natural flow. Go with it.

Look before you change direction

If you need or want to turn off the route or you want to simply turn around to go back the other way, look before you do it. There’s probably someone right behind you to your left or right and you don’t want to cut them off. If needed, signal your “turn” by using the standard hand signals. It might seem a little dorky, but those other people riding near you will appreciate it.

Move right before you stop

If you need to stop for some reason (other than a red light at a soft closure or some obstacle in front of you) move to the right side of the road and then stop. Remember, there’s a bunch of people right behind you. If you just stop in the middle of the street, some of those people might crash into you or into each other while trying to avoid you.

Watch for young children

Expect young children to ride a little unpredictably or swerve from side to side. It’s too much fun for them to resist so be alert and consider slowing down whenever you pass a small child. Don’t forget to wave, ring your bell, or say “hi”.

Shift down before the hill

There’s a hill at the 4th Street bridge, just west of Boyle Ave., and a few other places. If you have a bike with gears and you aren’t used to riding up hills, remember to shift down just before the hill. If you try to shift gears while going up the hill, you might cause the chain to come off (“throw the chain”). Shift to a gear that feels like it might be too easy. Most likely it will feel just right once you are going up. If your bike doesn’t have gears and you can’t ride up the hill, move towards the ride side of the road to dismount and walk your bike. If the slower folks are on the right, it helps to maintain the flow and avoid bumps and falls. The folks riding up the hill will appreciate it if the uphill path is clear.

Give space when going downhill

When going down the hills, remember to put extra space between you and those around you. Everyone’s going faster and you need more time to react if someone loses control. That guy riding down the hill with no hands? You definitely don’t want to ride close to him. He could easily lose it, so put even more space between him and you by slowing a little. Or, if you can, pass him so he’s behind you.

Slow down and relax

Last fall over 100,000 people did CicLAvia. Expect the road will be crowded. Why not take your time, relax, and enjoy the ride? This isn’t a race and going fast is a lot riskier for everyone when there are more of us riding together. Take it slow.

Be courteous to others on the road

Remember this isn’t just a bicycling event and there will be people walking, jogging, dancing, playing music, testing their hula hoop skills, and anything else we don’t normally get to do in the middle of the street. That’s what’s so great about CicLAvia! We’ll all have a lot more fun if courtesy and community are the rule of the day.

Help the volunteers at soft closures and all along the route

While the route will be off-limits for motorized vehicles, there will be soft closures where you’ll be asked to stop to allow cross traffic to get through. Those soft closures will be staffed by hundreds of volunteers who want you to have fun and be safe while they assist folks who are trying to get by in their vehicles. Help those volunteers by stopping when they ask you to. Take a second to say thanks.


Finally, remember to smile and talk with other CicLAvistas you see. We so rarely get to connect on the street like we can at CicLAvia. Have fun and enjoy the day!

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  1. […] rides headed to the event, including rides from the Bikerowave and back again, too. LACBC offers tips for safe and happy riding this […]

  2. From before I was in Boy Scouts I enjoyed bicycling. Having taken a bike touring class at the U of Oregon and experienced bike paths in Eugene, I came home to L.A. on The Coast Route. L.A. seemed drab in comparison, but momentum is gathering. I never participated in a Riordan or LaBonge ride, but now, I’m thrilled to sponsor a bicycle club at Belmont High School where I work, and I look forward to doing my first CicLavia tomorrow.

  3. […] running or just taking it all in. So take the advice we give everyone else and share the road, ride courteously and don’t be a jerk. And don’t forget that CicLAvia had it’s inception as a project of the Los Angeles County […]

  4. The Bicycle Riding School teaches those of all ages to ride bicycles, including adults who never learned as children. If you can already ride, we can help you understand how to ride more safely in traffic.

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