Safety & Bike Etiquette

Riding Safely on Public Streets - For a safe ride please follow these guidelines:

  1. Rider must obey all Maryland Traffic Laws.
  2. Go with the flow - ride in the same direction as traffic.
  3. A STOP SIGN means STOP.
  4. A RED LIGHT means STOP.
  5. YIELD to pedestrians.
  6. Do not cross yellow lines.
  7. Helmets must be worn while riding a bike.
  8. BE VERBAL - Give warning when passing. (“On your left!”, “Stopping” etc.).
  9. Ride in single file. Do not develop pace lines/draft other bicyclists. This is a fun ride not a race.
  10. SIGNAL all turns.
  11. Move your bike (and yourself) off the road when you have a flat or mechanical failure.
  12. No headphones, use of i-pods and MP3 devices are permitted while riding the course. Please don't talk on your cell phone while biking. Keep both hands on your handlebars. Singing is allowed.
  13. No Aero-bars in the presence of other riders.
  14. Stay about three feet away from parked cars to avoid the “door zone.” (When a motorist opens a car door.)
  15. Cross railroad tracks at a right angle or walk your bike across them.
  16. Act respectful to those around you, to community members, to pedestrians and to vehicle drivers! We want to be invited back to have a great time next year!
  17. Smile. Bicycling is fun!

***Riders who are jeopardizing their own safety, the safety of others or are breaking the law may be terminated from event participation.

Please familiarize yourself with bike etiquette before coming to the event.

  • Bike events/tours are held on county and city streets. The route is supported but is not closed to traffic. Please ride in the right-hand lane and follow your cue sheet and the directions of ride marshals stationed at intersections.
  • Faster cyclists should ride on the left, and slower cyclists should ride on the right. Please ride in a straight line and don't drift from side to side. It is very important to inform children of this and the below rules!
  • If a rider is approaching you on your left, he or she will say "On the left!" If they are approaching you from behind on the right, they will say "On the right!" Please listen for this, and also use it if you are approaching someone from behind.
  • Experienced riders will either point or shake their hand at glass or other hazards on the ground. If you see someone in front of you doing this, look out for a hazard.
  • We must all do our part to share the road. Your cooperation is important.
  • Be aware of other cyclists around you at all times. Don't make abrupt stops or change direction suddenly.
  • Ride in a straight line and look to your right and left before making a turn. Someone might be coming up behind you.
  • Please make sure your shoelaces are tied and any other hanging objects are secured before you begin the ride.
  • Talk to your children about these rules. Kids will definitely be excited about this ride, and they should follow the same rules as adults.
  • If your bike breaks down or you fall, keep an eye out for our Ride Marshals —they can also call a vehicle (SAG vehicle) to come pick you up.
  • In case of emergency: Contact a ride marshal — they're easily distinguishable by their T-shirts/reflective vests. Bring a mobile phone and dial 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Stay cool. Bring a water bottle along for hydration.

Things to Get Ready

  • A properly fitted helmet is mandatory.
  • Get your bike in shape, using the safety checklist below. 
  • Start cycling well in advance of event day so that your body is ready for the ride. 
  • Bring one or more water bottles or a hydration system. Mount a water bottle cage on your bike, and learn to reach down and drink from it while you are riding, so that you can keep hydrated during the event. Fill another water bottle with a sports drink for added energy.
  • Pack a rain jacket. The bicycle event goes on, rain or shine.
  • Pack a few energy snacks. We will have snacks, sports drinks and water at the rest stop and at the end of the event, but it does not hurt to be self-sufficient.
  • Pack a few basic bike repair tools, including a spare inner tube that is the right size for your bike and a pump. Even if you do not know how to fix a flat, it will be easier get help if you have these tools with you.
  • Bring personal identification, and some money for phone calls, if you do not have a mobile phone. Pack some sun screen and minor first aid supplies.
  • If you are riding with kids, prepare them for the ride, and make a plan; in case we get separated. You may want to establish a contact person whom you both can call. You can also plan to meet at the registration table.
  • Learn to ride predictably without weaving between parked cars or stopping suddenly. Stay on your left; as you pass others so as not to surprise them or yourself.  

Six Steps to Safety Check

  • Use a proper sized bicycle. 
  • Check to see if your bike seat is adjusted to the proper height. When you are sitting on the seat with your foot on the pedal, your leg should be slightly bent. This will help avoid knee strain.
  • Make sure you have a reflector on the front and rear of your bike. The rear should be red and should be at least three inches across. Make sure the reflector is pointed straight back to reflect the headlights of cars that are coming up behind you.
  • Bike chain to be clean and lubricated. If it is not, take it to the local bike shop for a check up.
  • Check your brakes for even pressure. They should make your back wheels skid on dry pavement, but you do not want brakes that stick. 
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated.