As the weather warms and Central Oregonians dust off their bicycles, it's good to remember the rules of the road, as well as some good old-fashioned etiquette.
Here are a few basic rules of thumb that are not only good practice—but also Oregon state law:
Riding a bicycle against traffic is a big no-no—and dangerous (sorry, mom—you were wrong).
Riding on the sidewalk? Yield to pedestrians and use your words (or perhaps a bell) to warn that you'll be passing.
When crossing sidewalks or driveways, riders don't need to get off bikes—but do need to slow down to a speed that does not exceed "a speed greater than an ordinary walk." No, that doesn't mean a brisk power walk.
For those on electric bicycles, riding on sidewalks is prohibited altogether.
Is there a bike lane? Riders better be using it while on two wheels, with the exception of navigating obstructions, passing other riders, gearing up to take a left turn, staying clear of vehicles in right turn lanes or if they're riding at near the speed of traffic.
Use hand and arm signals.
Riding at night? Use a white headlight and a red reflector.
For those driving cars, it's common courtesy to slow down and give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing. State law dictates drivers allow enough space to avoid contact with a bicyclist if they should fall on any road posted with a speed of 35 miles per hour or greater. In a "Driver's Field Guide to Sharing Oregon's Roads" on oregon.gov, drivers are urged to use caution when coming out of driveways, alleys and side streets. Do a double take when looking left to make sure no vehicles, including bicyclists, are in the oncoming lane. Take a good look in mirrors when taking a right. There may be a bicyclist in the adjacent bike lane—and they have the right of way.