Where you drive is rarely
Finding Safer Roads: The trick to safer riding is discovering the bike-friendly routes that head where you want to go. Often, it's as simple as looking for an alternative as soon as you find yourself on a bad road. In most cities, there are parallel roads to the busy ones with much less traffic. While these might sometimes meander through neighborhoods, meaning a longer ride, the improvement in riding conditions, sparse traffic and solitude is well worth the extra few minutes you have to pedal. Keep an eye out for neighborhoods that might connect by sidewalk but not by streets. Many adjoining neighborhoods allow pedestrian traffic through while restricting auto traffic. In Huntsville, some of the commonly used bike routes include:
We ride our bikes all over Madison County and would be happy to help you find safe routes in your area. When available, we have a BIke Route Map produced by the City of Huntsville that shows all the current greenways and signed bike routes.
Time Your Trip
Another tip for safe city cycling is timing your trip to avoid peak commuting hours. While this might not always be possible, you'll find that the streets lose their bite once everyone reaches work or home.
If you can arrange your day so that you can ride before 8 AM, between the hours of 10 AM to noon, 1 to 3 PM, and/or after 6 PM, you'll find that even busy streets aren't nearly as bad.
Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright or reflective clothing and using lights when visibility has the potential to be poor or anywhere motorists might not expect to see a cyclist. We have reflective vests and many high quality bike lights to make your riding safer day or night.
Watch where you are going! It doesn't take much of an impact to knock you off course so try to avoid any significant potholes and drainage grates. Bridge expansion joints and railroad tracks are notorious for snatching the front wheels of unsuspecting cyclists so always cross these on the perpendicular. You'll be amazed at the junk that falls off work trucks! You'll experience less flat tires and the ensuing loss of control by avoiding any roadside debris.