you need for safety. You have the same right Go by Bike! to the road as everyone else! Parking * For Convenience Where should you store your bike and equipment while you are at work, school, or the Bicycles can take you door-to-door or to a train store? There are many good options. Ask if bands on baggy pants, and remember: layers, or bus. No circling for a parking space. No Getting Started layers, layers! there is a place to park inside and lock your traffic jams. In urban areas, a bicyclist will Before you just jump on the bike that’s been bike to something solid. Many parking garages • wet/cold weather gear like a raincoat, gloves, a usually beat a motorist, bus, or subway sitting in your basement for years, here are some have bike racks inside; ask the attendant if you balaclava or scarf, and fenders for your wheels commuter into work. Shopping by bike is also suggestions that will make your commute better. don’t see one. • a small tool kit with the basic wrenches for your fun and easy. For even more info, check out To lock the bike, put a U-lock through the bike’s type of bolts, patch kit, tire levers, and a www.MassBike.org, or contact us and we will pair front wheel, the frame, and the rack or bike tire pump * For Your Health you up with one of our “commuter buddies” who can help you plan routes and can show you all • a change of clothes and a washcloth if you ring. Use a cable lock to secure the back wheel if you like. If you want to be extra- need to look professional at your workplace When you commute by bicycle, you don’t have the secrets. cautious, consider using a small saddle lock (you may even be able to shower at work if you to make time for exercise — it becomes a to keep your seat safe and take all removable get particularly sweaty) normal part of your daily routine. Bicycling The Bike lights off, if possible. lowers your blood pressure, and leaves you A “commuter”, “city”, or “hybrid” bike is designed with much less stress than driving a car. As a Optional Equipment: Have Fun! for shorter trips on busy streets, and inclement • biking gloves to protect your hands in case of a bonus, you’ll probably be much more awake weather. These bikes have lights, 1.25 to 1.5 People who begin biking to work or to the when you arrive at work in the morning. fall, and to wipe the sweat from your brow from inch tires, straight or upright handlebars, and local store love it. They get lots of exercise all that great exercise! racks to carry bags or briefcases. However, any and live in a world without the usual traffic • an extra tire tube — changing a tire is faster * To Save Money bike can be used as a commuter bike. So, what about that old bike in the basement? Sure! But, than patching a flat troubles. So, as a new bike commuter on the road, have fun out there. • a trailer for kids or things to take along By going car-free or car-light you can save on look it over first to make sure it’s in working order. If you do encounter some bad driving, • a bell fuel, maintenance, parking fees, and traffic If not, bring it into your local bike shop and ask don’t worry about it. Just be friendly and enjoy • lip balm with sun protection! tickets. If you can eliminate your car entirely, them to suggest modifications or new equipment. the fact that you are not stuck in a car. you’ll save an average of $5000 a year in As much as your friends may tell you And finally...... payments, insurance, and maintenance costs! otherwise, having an old-looking commuter bike How to Get From With those savings, you can afford to is not so bad. Theft can be a problem with very Point “A” to Point “B” occasionally rent a car, take a taxi, or join a car- new bikes. Creative paint jobs, stickers, duct Before you even get out there into traffic, make BECOME A MASSBIKE sharing club like Zipcar. Bicycling can even save tape, and other artistic applications can help you money even if you usually take public make your bike less attractive to thieves. Also, sure you are familliar with the rules of the road. MEMBER! Most bicyclists never get taught even the basics of transportation. Twelve months of subway make sure to register your bike with your city’s or bike safety, so be sure to check out the tips on the w w w. m a s s b i k e . o r g passes can cost over $400, more than enough town’s police department for free, and keep a other side of this brochure, so you can ride like a to pay for a new commuter bike every year. copy of your bike’s registration number in your pro. * Help make bicycling better, safer and more wallet. Once you have become comfortable riding fun in Massachusetts! * For the Environment Essential Equipment your vehicle onto busy streets, you can take the most direct route to work or school. If you aren’t * Get 10 percent discounts at bike stores and Bicycles don’t pollute, keep tons of waste out of B&Bs across the state You should have at least: yet comfortable with lots of other traffic, give * Receive our acclaimed quarterly newsletter the landfills, and don’t require huge roadways • a front white light, and a rear red light yourself some extra time, and locate a route with or parking lots. Cycling is also the world’s most and keep track of the bike paths being built in • racks and/or panniers to carry stuff residential and/or wide, quiet streets. (A bike your area efficient form of transportation! The average • a good, solid lock — or two map can be very helpful for planning a route, if car motor uses around 50 to 80 times more * Be able to receive individualized help from • a helmet that fits correctly there is one available for your area.) Either way, our staff on your biking questions energy than a cyclist! • wear comfortable clothes — use reflective ankle make sure to always take up as much space as Bicycles are Vehicles and Belong on the Road LEFT TURN RIGHT TURN Look and signal before turning Take the lane when necessary If a lane is too narrow for Go by Bike! Always look sharing with a car, move Bicyclists have the same rights and or behind you to into the center of the responsibilities as operators of motor vehicles, see if it is clear lane. Motorists may act according to Massachusetts State law. This before turning or impatient, but they aren’t means that you are required to follow all traffic changing lanes. likely to pass unsafely. rules, and you are allowed to drive your bicycle on any road or highway in the state, except for limited access expressways (like I-93). Ride single file Following the same rules as other vehicles Left turns Unless passing, ride makes you predictable, and significantly Turn left as a vehicle by single file. Notify other reduces the likelihood of a crash. Obeying the merging into the left turn cyclists of overtaking law also sends the message that you belong in lane or left side of single cars by announcing traffic and that you respect other road users. lane. Or, stop, dismount “Car back”. the bike, and cross as a Give respect — Get Respect pedestrian in crosswalks. Traffic signals are Pass busses on left for bicyclists too Busses pull to the right to Beware of the door Obey all traffic signs and drop off passengers, so zone! always pass on the left, or signals. Stop behind the Ride at least 4 feet away wait behind the bus until it stop line, so pedestrians from parked cars, even if starts moving again. can cross safely in the there is a bike lane, or crosswalk. traffic trying to pass you. Avoid the right hook Sidewalks are A guide to Yield to pedestrians for walking Avoid passing any moving vehicle on the Stop for all pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass Bike riding on sidewalks is prohibited in business commuting right. If there is a bicycle lane on the right, pass other traffic slowly and other vehicles stopped at crosswalks—there might be a pedestrian you can’t see districts. Residential sidewalks are OK to ride on at a slow pace. on a bicycle carefully, and watch for coming from the other side. right turning vehicles. Pass pedestrians Don’t be invisible! Don’t swerve with care Bikes are, by law, Ride in a straight, When on a path or required to have a front predictible line. Car sidewalk, pass other white light, a rear red drivers may not be able users with care, and reflector or light, side to avoid hitting you if announce your presence reflectors, and pedal (or you suddenly move into with a bell or a friendly ankle) reflectors at night. their path. “Passing on your left”.