BIKE SAFETY RULES
Your safety is of paramount importance to us. We will do everything in our power to make sure your tour experience is safe and enjoyable, but we ask that you do your part by reading the following material and abiding by standard bicycle safety rules. Our tours follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) bicycle safety guidelines by requiring the following of our guides and guests. Please read this document in its entirety and visit the NHTSA site before we ride.
Helmets must be properly fitted and worn at all times. Please bring your own if you have one and be sure that it has been properly fitted for you. If you need any information about which helmet you should wear or how to wear it, please visit the CPSC Helmet Page. Our guides will help you properly fit your helmet if you require assistance, but it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with this material before we ride.
Bright, reflective vests will be loaned to you and must be worn at all times.
To avoid the most dangerous times of day for cyclists in urban areas, we will not conduct tours past 6 p.m.
It is imperative that participants do not have alcohol or drugs in their system at any stage of the tour.
If you are renting a bike, we and our partner Silver Cycles will do everything in our power to ensure it is in proper working order. Rental bikes are equipped with reflectors. If you are using your own bike, you are responsible for making sure it is in proper working order.
Please tuck and tie your shoe laces and ensure your pant legs will not obstruct pedals or other bicycle machinery.
Our tours are designed to avoid automotive traffic as much as possible.
When on road, we will drive defensively, focused, and alert:
We will drive with the flow, in the same direction as traffic.
We will obey all street signs, signals, and road markings, as if we were driving a car.
We will assume other people don’t see us; we will look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause us to fall, including toys, cars backing out of driveways, pebbles, potholes, grates, tree roots, train tracks, etc…
We will not use any technology, listen to music, or wear any sort of headphones including ear buds. These sorts of distractions can cause accidents.
If you would like to take a photo, please notify your guide. Never attempt to take a photograph while riding, and always keep both hands on the handlebars.
We will always signal when changing lanes or direction. Your tour guide will instruct you on how to do so.
We will pass other cyclists and/or pedestrians slowly. When we do, your tour guide will alert them twice, once with a bell, then with a verbal “passing on your left or right.” Please also do so if you sense they might still be a hazard.
We will ride single-file and maintain at least two bike lengths between us and the riders in front of us.
We will adhere to all of the guidelines outlined by the NHTSA on the following website: https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR SAFETY AND COMFORT
So that you may have a stress-free tour experience, please keep the following tips in mind:
Weather conditions in the Washington area are sometimes unpredictable. Please prepare accordingly. Unless there is a threat of severe weather or significant snowfall, tours will operate. Therefore, please visit the Capital Weather Gang before your trip so you know what to expect.
If the temperature is forecast to be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend that you wear thin but warm gloves, a cycle cap that won't interfere with your helmet, and thermal layers underneath your clothing. On windy days, you might consider wearing a fleece and wind layer, and a waterproof outer layer, especially if rain or snow is in the forecast.
If the temperature is forecast to be above 75 degrees, we recommend that you wear the coolest clothing possible. While you don't need to go out and buy a new wardrobe for the tour, please review this buyer's guide to staying cool for tips.
STAY HYDRATED. Please make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after the tour. We will provide you with one bottle but it is your responsibility to make sure you stay hydrated.
Keep your blood sugar up. We will provide you with a light snack but it is your responsibility to make sure you are fueled up and ready to go. Prior to the tour, be sure to eat a protein and carbohydrate-rich meal, ideally with plenty of fruits and vegetables. You should do so after the tour as well.
If at any time you feel dizzy, disoriented, or something just doesn't seem right, notify your guide immediately, then stop riding in a safe place.