5 Ways to Cycle Safely in the City


Understand the Art of the Merge

Even if you find yourself on a nice, wide bike lane separated from cars on the street, there will come a time when you have to mix with the rest of the traffic. Intersections, for example, can present the novice city cyclist with a bit of a quandary: What to do when you want to keep traveling forward through an intersection, but the car beside you is fixin' to turn?

A biker riding through an intersection can avoid ending up on a turning vehicle's hood by understanding the art of the merge. When entering the intersection, merge in front of or behind turning traffic [source: NYC DOT].

A proper merge is a tango that requires not only smart, alert biking, but also awareness on the part of the turning driver. A cyclist does his part, and makes it easier on his partners in traffic, by making his presence known. In other words, a driver is less likely to hit you if he can see you. That means pedaling out toward the side of the bike lane closest to traffic before merging. This is no time for hugging the curb [source: NYC DOT].