Bicycling in and around Pullman can be a lot of fun and a great way to get around, but it is very important to remember some basic safety tips and rules of the road when riding:
EQUIPMENT - Before using your bicycle, make sure it is safe to ride. An easy way to remember how to check your bicycle before riding is to start with the A,B,C’s: Air, Brakes, and Chain. Always make sure your tires have the recommended amount of air in them, your brakes are working properly, and that the chain is adjusted accordingly and well lubricated. (Any of the local bikes shops can help you if you are unsure of how to maintain your bicycle).
HELMET - Once you know your bicycle is ready for use, be sure to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet. No matter how far or fast you plan to ride, it is always a good rule of thumb to wear a helmet any time you are on a bicycle.
BE SEEN - You want to be sure you are visible to everyone around you, especially people driving cars. Neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors are highly recommended, and wearing something reflective is always helpful.
ROAD HAZARDS – Although Pullman is a very scenic place to ride your bicycle, when riding, please remember to be aware of your surroundings and watch for hazards such as pot holes, gravel, railroad tracks, puddles, broken glass, and animals. If you are riding with someone else, it is helpful to point out such hazards to the riders behind you.
NIGHT RIDING – If possible, avoid riding in the dark. Although lighting and reflective gear can make a rider more visible, it is far more dangerous to ride in the dark than during daylight hours. If you must, please remember to wear clothing that makes you easy to see and have reflectors and lights on both the front and rear of your bicycle.
When riding your bicycle in Pullman, please remember to follow the rules of the road. Bicycles are considered vehicles in the State of Washington, and therefore riders are expected to act and obey the laws as a motorist. When riding on the roadway remember the following:
DIRECTION OF TRAVEL - Always ride in the same direction as the flow of traffic, rather than against it.
LAWS – You must obey all traffic signs, signals, and road markings.
BE PREDICTABLE – Ride in a straight line, use hand signals, and don’t make any sudden unexpected maneuvers.
STAY ALERT – As mentioned before, watch out for road hazards in addition to paying extra attention to traffic and other dangerous situations.
LOOK BEFORE TURNING – When you are turning either left or right, always look behind you for traffic and remember to signal your intentions well in advance.
PARKED CARS – When approaching and/or riding next to parked vehicles watch for the unexpected. Doors opening and cars pulling out into your lane of travel can be very dangerous for a bicyclist.
Although it is usually recommended that you ride in the street, there will often be times when riding on sidewalks and pathways will be not only more convenient and pleasurable, but safer as well. A general rule of thumb for children is if they are less than 10 years old, they are usually better off riding on the sidewalk. When riding on sidewalks and pathways, remember the following:
Make sure riding where you are at is legal. In the City of Pullman, riding bicycles and skateboards on the sidewalks in the downtown corridor is prohibited.
Watch for vehicles crossing the pathways and sidewalks from driveways and alleyways between buildings.
Stop before entering the roadway to not only look for cars, but to make sure drivers see you
Do not enter the street between parked cars.
Alert other riders and pedestrians by voice, bell, or horn, when you are approaching them from behind.
For more information on bicycle safety, you can contact the Pullman Police Department, one of your local bicycle shops, or go to any one of the several web sites available that provide bicycle safety information, including: