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Getting Started: Tips for safe ride
Get to know your bicycle
The best way to gain confidence riding is to simply ride often. Learn how your bike reacts to different types of pavement, how it stops, turns and accelerates.
Keep it well maintained
If you are not familiar with all the workings of the bicycle, take it to a mechanic at least once a year to ensure everything is in safe working condition.
Before you ride, give your bike the “ABC Quick Check“: Air, Brakes, Chain and Cranks, Quick Releases. Make sure your tires are well inflated, brakes adequate, chains in line and quick releases locked.
Watch your Speed
It is thrilling to ride fast, but make sure you are in control at all times and have enough time to react to unexpected hazards and unpredictable motorists.
Take a Bike Skills Class to learn the Rules of the Road and develop your street skills.
Many cyclists are afraid motorists will hit them from behind and ride as far right to parked cars as possible. This is extremely dangerous as motorists not used to looking for cyclists and will open their door giving cyclists the “door prize”. Give yourself at least 3 feet from the parked car door, most motorists will slow down and travel around you.
While riding be aware of your surroundings both in your path and other street users. Look in your pathway for potholes, debris and opening doors. Assume motorists do not see you and anticipate their actions.
Ride predictably in view of motorists. Never ride the opposite direction of traffic. Avoid riding on the sidewalk as motorists exiting driveways do not expect cyclists. Communicate with other street users with hand signals and eye contact. Wear light colored clothing during the night and use front and back flashing lights.
Helmet Fitting Guidelines
- Always wear a helmet while biking and make sure to replace it if it is cracked or broken.
- It is best to purchase a new helmet to ensure that it will function properly.
- Ensure that your helmet fits comfortably. Taking time to properly configure your helmet could save your life.
- Your helmet should fit on the top of your head, not tipped back. One standard measure is to make sure your helmet sits roughly two fingers above your brow.
- The straps should fit snugly under the jawbone. While a helmet strap should not be so tight as to restrict breathing, you should not be able to fit more than one finger between the strap and your skin.
- If you are involved in a bike crash, always replace your helmet even if it is not visibly cracked or broken.
Find a bike group in your area
San Joaquin County
The San Joaquin Bike Coalition is a comprehensive non-profit community organization that advocates bicycle safety and bicycle related events. The SJBC is involved with local government for the implementation and service of bicycle lanes, resources for motorists and bicyclists, and a hub for the advancement of bicycles in the community.
The Stockton Bicycle Club consists of cyclists living in or near Stockton, California. Rides are scheduled throughout the year. The club promotes activities for road riding (primary focus) and mountain biking, while attempting to schedule rides for all abilities to encourage an active membership.
The Stanislaus County Bicycle Club was formed in 1982 by cycling enthusiasts, to promote recreational bicycling safety, touring, racing, tandem riding, and commuting. Stanislaus County Bicycle Club is a not-for-profit organization working to support cycling growth and education in Stanislaus and the surrounding counties. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in bicycling.
The Merced Bicycle Coalition works to make the community safer, the air cleaner and the citizens healthier by promoting bicycling as a safe and normal means of everyday transportation and recreation. Regular rides and special out of town events and rides are posted online.
Dibs currently offers three vanpool subsidies depending on your origination and destination. The trip must start or end within San Joaquin, Stanislaus or Merced Counties.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) also has a Vanpool Incentive Program. They offer a $360 subsidy per commuter per year for vanpool passengers who qualify. The subsidy is for vanpool riders for one to three years or up to $1,080. The passenger must reside within the geographic area of the SJVAPCD and meet a one-way mileage requirement. Other eligibility requirements may apply. Click here to apply.
Emergency Ride Home
A carpool consists of two or more people sharing the ride to work. Carpools can be as flexible as needed. Share the ride every day, or once a week. It is up to you. But remember, the more you share, the more you save!