6 Tips for Surviving Seattle Traffic on a Bike

It's a jungle out there. Stay safe.
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Madi Carlson of Cascade Bicycle Club gears up for a ride with her pup in South Lake Union.

Strap on a helmet, fill up your Nalgene—it’s time to hit the road: May is National Bike Month, but the wheels don’t need to stop turning when the calendar flips.

Thanks to some tips from the pros at Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club, you don’t have to be a pro to ride like one. Here is some helpful advice for cycling newbies on how to ride safely in Seattle traffic, courtesy of Shannon Koller, the club’s senior director of education. Still want more help? Sign up for Cascade’s urban cycling techniques class (cascade.org).

1. Follow all traffic laws—such as yielding to people who are walking—and communicate your movements to others with your voice, bell and hand signals.

2. Position yourself in the bike or car lane so you have 3 feet on either side of you.

3. Look and plan ahead for hazards in your path, such as streetcar tracks, potholes and debris.

4. Learn how to use the street markings and signs that apply to people bicycling, such as bike boxes, green lanes and bike signals.

5. Use a steady white front light and red rear light when you ride at night.

6. Always wear a helmet and make sure it fits properly. It should be level on your head, sit one or two finger widths above your eyebrow, and be tight enough under the chin strap to fit no more than two fingers.

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