Cycling is an increasingly popular sport in The Villages and maintains mobility while aging. Sharing the road with cyclists can be challenging for drivers and many cyclists need to learn how to safely cycle in traffic. The tips below are to help motorists understand cyclists AND to remind cyclists how to ride in traffic so we can all Share the Road Safely!
Tips for Motorists
Yield to Cyclists. Roads were original paved to accommodate bicycles, not cars. Accordingly, bicycles are classified as motor vehicles under Florida Law and have the FULL use of the streets. As a motorist you must yield to a bike just as you would yield to a car. For example, look for bikes when you enter a Roundabout and yield if the cyclists have already entered the roundabout before you. If turning out of the Roundabout make your turn behind the cyclists.
Drive with Care. Bikes are allowed to ride 3 feet from the right hand curb and you won’t have the room to safely pass a cyclist in the same lane. So when on a two- lane road pass a bicycle as you would a slow-moving vehicle, and only when it is safe to do so. On the 4 lane streets when clear move to the adjacent lane to pass a bike. Always look back before returning to your original lane.
Be Courteous to Cyclists. Remember the cyclists on the streets are your neighbors and fellow Villagers enjoying their retirement dream of year round cycling. Scan for cyclists by looking for flashing lights and bright clothing. Be predicable by obeying the speed limits, using your turn signals when changing lanes, turning or passing and checking your blind spots. Be patient as cyclists are slower than your car and cyclists may need to swerve to avoid obstacles. Do not follow cyclists too closely.
Tips for Cyclists
Yield to Motorists. Obey all traffic controls and signals as if you are in a vehicle. Look for traffic before you enter a Roundabout or intersection and yield to the traffic. Also yield to traffic at four way stops as you would in a car. Make eye contact with drivers so they you see them and they see you. When cycling use the multimodal lane when available and if not then stay 3 feet from the right side curb. Riding with a group also increases your visibility to motorists.
Bike with Care. Always wear a properly fitted helmet and brightly colored clothing. Use a white light on the front of your bike and red flashing light on the rear. Use a bike or helmet rear view mirror. Then always check your mirror before changing lanes or moving notably within the lane. Use directional hand signals to show drivers when turning, slowing, stopping or changing lanes. Be Courteous to Motorists. Most drivers are fellow Villagers enjoying their retirement dream of living in The Villages. Always cycle with your head up and looking for traffic. Be predicable by riding in the same direction as traffic. Always ride single file even if it is a bike path or multimodal lane. Try to maintain a straight course without an bobbing or weaving, except to avoid debris or obstacles. Be patient as the majority of motorists are patient with cyclists and do not engage with the impatient drivers. For more information see the Official Florida Driver License Handbook and Share the Road at flhsmv.gov