Public Safety

5 Tips for Biking Safely

Some people bike for fun. Others ride for exercise or to get to work.

May 20 is Bike to Work Day and if you are considering pedaling to work, here are some tips to make your commute a safer one:

1. The Right Bike

Make sure your bike “fits” in relation to your height. If it’s an older bike, a local repair shop can tune it and do a safety check for you.

2. A Good Helmet

A helmet that fits properly will protect you in case of a fall. A helmet is required for everyone under 18 years old and recommended for everyone else. It must meet certain legal standards.

3. Pick a Way to Go

Pick a route in advance with the help of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Regional Bike Map or Google Maps. SANDAG’s iCommute program also provides information about how to sign up for a bike locker and take your bike on transit.

4. Rules of the Road

It’s important to learn and follow the rules of the road. The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition also offers helpful courses for riders.

5. Safety First

When biking on roadways, ride with the flow of traffic, stay alert and wear bright-colored clothing and reflective gear at night to make you more visible. At night, use a bright headlight and taillight.

Biking to work doesn’t have to be limited to one day per year. With an average temperature of 71 degrees, the region is one of the best places in the country for people to get places on two wheels.

Remember, bicycling can save money, reduce stress, and help the environment. It can also help you stay fit. Currently there are more than 1,300 miles of existing bikeways in the region and thousands more are in the works.

“Bicycling is an easy way to increase daily physical activity to stay healthy and reduce the chances of getting a chronic disease, one of the goals of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., child health medical officer for the County Health and Human Services Agency. “More than half of San Diego County adults are overweight or obese. Bicycling and living an active lifestyle can help you stay fit.”

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact