Avoid these Common Hazards

Be careful crossing railroad tracks as they can be very slippery especially if wet and may not be level with the pavement.  Try to cross at 90 degrees (perpendicular) otherwise the tires could get caught in the track or slip along the rail.


Be careful entering driveways or at sidewalk curb cuts as the lip is frequently raised 1 inch or more above the road surface. Try to enter perpendicular to the curb at a moderate speed. Otherwise your tire may bounce off the lip and throw you off your bike. Unless you know how to “jump” limit yourself to 2 inch lips.

Try to avoid riding near bikes from a corporate bike fleet. Unfortunately many employees using these bicycles have little or no bicycle/pedestrian safety training, are largely ignorant of bicycle/pedestrian laws and are not paying attention to their surroundings. Try to avoid areas where these are heavily used, especially at commute and lunch times. Be on the lookout for wrong-way bicyclists, even in bike lanes, as well as riders on sidewalks and other unexpected places.


Avoid cutting through parking lots and gas stations as a shortcut. This is a dangerous practice because drivers are distracted and have limited visibility while driving in them.


Avoid riding on sidewalks, as it is illegal for adults and children older than 12 in Cupertino and most of Silicon Valley, unless accompanying a younger child. Children riding on sidewalks should be instructed to walk their bike across intersections–do not continue riding across an intersection!  Cars do not expect to see a fast-moving bike on a sidewalk and they may run into a child.


Try to avoid riding over a drain grate, as if wet these can be very slippery. Try to cross at an angle. Be on the lookout for older designs having openings large enough to trap your tire, causing you to fall.


Try to avoid potholes, road depressions, uneven pavement and metal utility covers, but don’t swerve sharply as this can be more dangerous than proceeding straight over them. Don’t avoid them by swerving into the traffic lane. Riding slowly helps reduce the impact.


Avoid Distractions when cycling. Don’t use your cell phone or focus on your cyclometer or map while in motion. If you use headphones or earbuds don’t cover both ears. It is both illegal to do so, and it is important to allow yourself to hear so you can detect potential dangers. 

Try to avoid if possible riding through many leaves, dirt, sand, wet pavement and ice. Do not make a sharp turn while riding through these. The roadway can very slippery especially if wet. 

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