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Resources for bicyclists to help promote safety on Michigan roads.

Riding Skills & Tips

Even if you are an experienced cyclist, it’s a good idea to review the fundamentals periodically. You may also want to review them with younger cyclists in your family.

The Fundamentals

The best guideline is: Be Alert. Be Wary. Be Seen.

Be Alert      Scan ahead, center, left and right.

Be Wary      Pay attention to vehicles, pedestrians and others on the road.

Be Seen      Use your horn, hand signals and light to be seen by others on the road.

10 Tips for Safer Cycling

  • Wear your helmet. Follow this simple rule and you reduce your risk of serious injury by as much as 85 percent.
  • Keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time  to react and maneuver.
  • One person per bike. Riding with unsecured passengers puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.
  • Ride in single file with space between bikes.
  • Ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident – or a ticket.
  • Plan ahead if you will ride in a group. Agree on the route ahead of time. Have a plan on what you will do if separated by traffic.
  • If you will be riding in an unfamiliar area, check out local laws and rules first.
  • Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times on your route.
  • Before riding at night, ask someone to help you check your visibility to motorists.
  • Maintain the bikes in your household. Keep chains clean and lubricated and periodically inspect brake pads.

Hand Signals

Communicate your intention to turn, stop, and change lanes using recognized hand signals. Learn more about hand signals for bicyclists here.

Hazard Recognition

What is a Hazard?
Both road and weather conditions can be dangerous to riders. Identifying potential hazards and paying attention to your surroundings will keep you safer.

Hazards on the road

  • Uneven, rough surfaces can cause falls.
  • An object in the road can cause a flat tire, loss of balance or unsafe maneuver. Avoid riding across unknown objects.
  • Slippery surfaces create a loss of traction which may cause you to lose control of your bike. Slow down or walk your bike across slippery surfaces.

Tips to Avoid a Collission

Make safe choices

  • Do not wear headphones while riding.
  • Keep both hands on the handlebars, except when signaling.
  • Keep both feet on pedals.
  • In a group, ride single-file, with the flow of traffic.
  • Wear a brightly colored helmet and retro-reflective material on your clothing.
  • Use the correct hand signals.
  • Before entering a roadway: Stop. Look left. Look right. Look left.

Avoid riding at twilight or in the dark, especially on narrow roads and roads with speed limits that exceed 35 mph.

Source: AAA Exchange

Group Riding Etiquette

Article coming soon.

Smart Cycling: 5 Rules of the Road

The League of American Bicyclists five "Rules of the Road" are the core of their Smart Cycling program and will prepare you for a safe and fun bike commute no matter where you are riding.

Follow the Law

Your safety and image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

Be Predictable

Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.

Be Conspicuous

Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with others and don't ride on sidewalks.

Think Ahead

Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.

Ride Ready

Check that your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.

>> Learn more safety tips in What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know


Be sure to look up and ahead while riding — try not to look at the ground in front of you.

You may think it’s the handlebars that do the steering on a bike, but your body actually does the majority of the steering. If you turn by just moving your handlebars, you will make turns that are wide and clumsy. The tighter and smoother the turn, the more you have to lean.


Your job is to use small motions to steer the front wheel as little as possible to keep the bike directly under your center of gravity.


Source: League of American Bicyclists

What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know

What-Every-Michigan-Bicyclist-Must-KnowSince 2006, the League of Michigan Bicyclists has distributed over 300,000 copies of What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know and What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know. The booklets are designed to help bicyclists safely and enjoyably share the public roads and trails of Michigan with other users. The booklet contains information about traffic laws, safety equipment, road and lane placement, signs and markings, fixing a flat, bike and helmet fitting tips, and more.

This handy booklet is designed for individual bicyclists, but is also an excellent resource for law enforcement agencies and other organizations interesting in distributing safety information.

>> Request copies by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
>> View PDF Preview
>> Download a Copy

What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know

What_Every_Young_Michigan_Bicyclist_Must_Know-1What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know booklet is a companion piece to our adult publication, What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know. It was created to help young bicyclists understand how to ride their bicycles legally and safely in Michigan.

After realizing that many of the adult versions of this publications were actually being distributed at youth bicycle events, the League of Michigan Bicyclists created a stand alone document specifically targeted at elementary school-aged children.
The publication is filled with colorful illustrations by Michigan artist Ray Templin. The playful art is coupled with simple text developed by the League of Michigan Bicyclists to help make it fun and easy for children to learn about bicycle safety.

If you or a group that you are associated with is involved with youth bicycle safety, please considere incoporating this document into your training or events.

>> Request copies by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
>> View PDF Preview
Download a Copy


What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know by League of Michigan Bicyclists


What Every Young Michigan Bicyclist Must Know by League of Michigan Bicyclists





Share MI Roads is a campaign developed by the League of Michigan Bicyclists in collaboration with a diverse network of partners.
Share MI Roads is supported through funding by Transportation For Michigan, individual donors, and sponsors.