Biking Basics: Rules & Safety Tips

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Local cyclists say the weeks before RAGBRAI can often been the busiest and most dangerous for people out on trails. While thousands of people are prepping for RAGBRAI, local cycle clubs say some bikers aren`t taking the proper precautions while training on the trails. President of the Des Moines Cycle Club Georgie Libbie thinks this is the worst it's ever been and she's not sure why. She says too many people are not following the rules and it's putting others in danger.

Below are a few pointers for novice and experienced riders.

Trail Biking Basics

  1. Always wear a helmet.
  2. Use a light at night.
  3. Stay in the right lane (runners included).
  4. Communicate before passing another person on the left.
  5. Do not take breaks on a trail.
  6. Do not brake suddenly unless absolutely necessary.
  7. Watch out of debris on a trail and warn others behind you of possible debris.
  8. Never bike side-by-side.
  9. Give other bikers plenty of space.
  10. Take corners with caution.
  11. Learn basic hand signals and practice them.

For more bike tips go to &


  • Thank you.

    As a walker, I REALLY appreciate the ‘on your left’. I usually have my dog. not only does the warning prevent me from being startled, it allows me to protect the biker and my dog by shortening her leash. We are not on trails, but, on sidewalks. I don’t mind bikers on sidewalks as long as we are all aware of each other.

    • Dude

      I appreciate it as well. I find that the worst offenders are the really fast bikers, and they scare the bejeebers out of me when they whiz past.

  • Walter Githens III

    never ride side by side? Come on? you really only need 1/3rd of the lane for a bike so 3 can fit easily… I’d say the most important rule should be ride safely according to your environment. The more crowded a trail, the slower & more defensive you should ride… Never is a long time…

  • Dude

    So if 3 can ride safely, what are the rules when there are 2 groups riding side by side? (Personally, if I am riding side by side, I get my butt over when passing someone going the other way.) I think it is rude to do otherwise. You’re basically going into their half of the trail, aren’t you?

  • Burt Mustin

    “On your left” is lost on people with ear buds jammed in and iPods cranked. Same with women cackling so loud I can hear them from 50 yards back.

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