Nashville isn’t known for being a particularly bicyclist-friendly city. In fact, a study in May 2022 found that Nashville is one of the least bike-friendly cities in the U.S. due to having relatively few cycling resources and a less bikeable metro area compared to other cities.
Although Nashville is no cyclist’s utopia, riding a bike around town or as part of your daily commute can be done safely. But to make your rides safer, you’ll need to follow a few important steps to reduce your risks. These steps include:
1.Wear a helmet.
Head injuries can be fatal when you’re involved in a crash while riding your bicycle. Wearing a properly-fitted helmet can save your life.
2.Use reflectors and wear reflective/brightly colored clothing.
Equip your bike with reflectors, which are useful both at night and during the day. And while you may not be able to wear flashy colors to your job, wearing a brightly colored and reflective vest or helmet can make it much easier for drivers to spot you on the road.
3. Learn and use bicycle hand signals.
Drivers rely on turn signals and brake lights to know what other motorists are doing. As a bicyclist, it’s important to let drivers know what you’re doing, too. That means using hand signals:
- Left turn—Extend your left arm out in a straight line pointing to your left.
- Right turn—Hold your left arm up at a 90-degree angle or extend your right arm out in a straight line pointing to your right.
- Stop—Hold your left arm down at a 90-degree angle.
Other important safety tips include using side roads when available, watching for opening car doors when riding near parked cars, and giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.