How to share the road

More and more bicycles are on the streets in Oxford. Maybe it is the price of gasoline. It might be a realization that a little everyday exercise is an effective way to keep off those unwanted pounds. Perhaps the new bike lanes and paths have piqued peoples' interest. Here are a few tips for cyclists and motorists to keep everyone safe and happy. More tips are available from The League of American Bicyclists


Drive cautiously and pay attention
A fender bender with another motor vehicle can be an annoying inconvenience, a collision with a cyclist can be fatal.
Be patient
Bikes travel more slowly, take longer to cross intersections
Pass with Care.
When passing, wait for safe road and traffic conditions and leave four feet between you and a cyclist.
Watch for Children.
Expect the unexpected and slow down.


Wear a helmet. Be sure you can ride in a straight line and look over your shoulder without swerving. Practice these skills on the new rail/trails (see map), in an empty parking lot, on a quiet neighborhood street, or at the weekly community rides (Sundays at 6 p.m. from the Depot) BEFORE attempting to ride in traffic.

On the streets, bicycles are subject to the very same rules and regulations that apply to motor vehicles. Bikes, like all slow moving vehicles should ride as far to the right as is practical. This doesn't mean that you need to ride with your wheel against the curb. In fact it is much safer to ride a foot or two from the edge of the road so as to miss the storm grates, sticks, stones and broken glass that accumulate there. It is much safer to ride predictably in a straight line than to weave in and out dodging obstacles. If there are cars parked along the road, keep to the left of the "door zone", so as not to be surprised when a car door pops open right in front of you.

If the lane is too narrow for a car to pass safely don't be afraid to take the lane. Cars behind will have to wait to pass just as they would any other slow moving vehicle. When space is available, be courteous, move to right and allow the cars to pass. Make a note of the trouble spots and let the pathways commission know to include them in the next round of improvements. Be aware of the traffic around you, hard to do with earphones.

For more information on bicycling in Oxford, including more safety tips, information on bicycling events, and opportunities to ride with others, check out the LOU Pathways website at and the Oxford Cycling website at For parents the Active Living Resource Center has a great little pamphlet on bike safety (PDF).

How to ride on the pathways

How to ride on the road

What about riding on sidewalks?

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