Brush Up on the Cycling Road Code: 10 Tips for a Smooth (and Safe) Bike Ride

Levi Strauss & Co.
March 23, 2016

As warmer weather approaches, that bike path will likely be calling out more than those fast lanes. But before hopping on your environmentally friendly mode of transport, you’ll want to gear up with the proper attire.
The Levi’s® Commuter Collection for men and women are designed full of purpose, style and thoughtful features for cyclists. From reflectivity woven directly into the fibers of button down shirt fabrics, to evolutions in moisture wicking and odor repellency through more sustainable technologies – we promise these new innovative looks are durable, comfortable and up to code. Once you freshen up and brush off your commuter conscious fashions, consider brushing up on the rules of the bicycle lane, a fun AND healthier way to roll.
From the “Idaho Stop” to “salmoning,” here are 10 etiquette tips to help you get back in gear.


Photo by Salim Virji

1. Don’t be a salmon.

It’s really cycling etiquette 101: don’t swim upstream or ride the wrong way in a one-way lane. Follow the direction of traffic, no matter how tempting a shortcut might be. And please don’t ride on the sidewalk!
2. Unplug the Earbuds.
Headphones and cycling shouldn’t mix –just ask some lawmakers now banning their use. The use of handheld devices is also illegal in many cities – so hang up the phone and text TTYL before you pedal.
3. Beware the Idaho Stop.
In Idaho, and several other states with similar laws, cyclists are legally allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights as stop signs. So be careful!


4. Observe your options.
Turning left from a bike lane is no easy feat. Cyclists have three choices: carefully merge into traffic using plenty of hand signals to turn from the vehicle left turn lane; go straight across the intersection and join the bike lane in the direction you wish to cross; or cross using the crosswalk, being sure to yield to pedestrians.
5. Ride defensively.
From cars making sharp right turns to jaywalking tourists, bicycling in cities can present a multitude of frustrating, unexpected moments. Keep your eyes peeled and be cognizant of worst-case scenarios to avoid bumps in the road.
6. No cutsies.
From kindergarteners to cyclists, cutting in line is never polite. This unwritten rule applies at red lights too. If you’re very late – and very fast – you can politely ask fellow cyclists to let you through, but don’t try to squeeze ahead in line. And if you need to pass, clearly call out, “On your left!”
7. Choose the right path.
Etiquette dictates that riders should keep to the right unless passing and to pass on the left. By sneaking past on the right, you force the other rider farther into traffic to let you by.


8. Keep on the straight and narrow.
Maintaining a predictable speed and riding in a straight line makes it significantly easier for traffic to move safely around you.
9. Fasten up!
Whether it’s collapsible, invisible, or fashionable, snap that helmet in place before every ride.


10. Avoid the ninja look.
Make sure to wear reflective clothing and, as required by law, get a front light and rear reflector. We know the perfect gear for a safe – and fashionable – ride home: the Levi’s® Commuter Collection. Reflective, breathable, and water repellant; these stylish clothes are ready to go the distance.
For more looks from the Levi’s® Commuter Collection, be sure to follow @leviscommuter on Instagram!