Troop 33 - DeKalb, Illinois

"Always an Adventure"



Ten Commandments of Bicycling

#1 - Wear a helmet for every ride and use lights at night

#2 - Conduct an ABC Quick Check before every ride

#3 - Obey traffic laws: ride on the right, slowest traffic farthest to right

#4 - Ride predictably and be visible at all times

#5 - At intersections, ride in the right-most lane that goes in your direction

#6 - Scan for traffic and signal lane changes and turns

#7 - Be prepared for mechanical emergencies with tools and know-how

#8 - Control your bike by practicing bike handling skills

#9 - Drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry

#10 - HAVE FUN!

ABC Quick Check

1. "A" is for air

  • Inflate tires to rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire
  • Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure
  • Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace if damaged

    2. "B" is for brakes

  • Inspect pads for wear; replace is there is less than " of pad left
  • Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub tire or dive into spokes
  • Check brake level travel; at least 1" between bar and lever when applied

    3. "C" is for cranks, chain and cassette

  • Make sure that your crank bolts are tight; lube the threads only, nothing else
  • Check your chain for wear; 12 links should measure no more than 12 1/8 inches
  • If your chain skips on your cassette, you might need a new one or just an adjustment

    4. "QUICK" is for quick releases

  • Hubs need to be tight in the frame; your quick release should engage at 90
  • Your hub quick release should point back to insure that nothing catches on it
  • Inspect brake quick releases to insure that they have been re-engaged

    5. "CHECK" is for check it over

  • Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly
  • Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them
  • Pay extra attention to your bike during the first few miles of the ride


    For Cyclists to remember...

    1. Ride on the right

  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Use the lane furthest to the right that heads in the direction that you are traveling
  • Slower moving cyclists and motorists stay to the right

    2. On the road

  • The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists
  • Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings
  • Always use hand signals to indicate your intention to stop or turn to motorists and cyclists

    3. Always wear a properly fitting helmet

  • Make sure that the helmet fits on top of the head, not tipped back
  • Always wear a helmet while riding a bike, no matter how short the trip
  • After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately
  • Ride predictably
  • Ride in a straight line and don't swerve in the road or between parked cars
  • Check for oncoming traffic before entering any street or intersection
  • Anticipate hazards and adjust position in traffic accordingly

    5. Be visible

  • Wear brightly colored clothing at all times
  • At night, use a white front light, red rear light or reflector and reflective tape or clothing
  • Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there

    For Motorists to remember...

    1. Drive cautiously

  • Reduce speed when encountering cyclists
  • In inclement weather, give cyclists extra trailing and passing room
  • Recognize situations that may be potentially dangerous to cyclists and give them space

    2. Yield to cyclists

  • Cyclists are considered vehicles and should be given the appropriate right of way
  • Cyclists may take the entire lane when hazards, road width or traffic speed dictate
  • Motorists should allow extra time for cyclists to traverse intersections

    3. Be considerate

  • Scan for cyclists in traffic and at intersections
  • Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists
  • Look for cyclists when opening doors

    4. Pass with care

  • Leave at least three feet of space between your car and a cyclist when passing
  • Wait until road and traffic conditions allow you to safely pass
  • Check over your shoulder after passing a cyclist before moving back to normal position

    5. Watch for children

  • Children on bicycles are often unpredictable - expect the unexpected and slow down
  • Most children don't have adequate knowledge of traffic laws
  • Children are harder to see because they are typically smaller than adults


    1. Left turn

  • Motorists often misjudge the speed of oncoming cyclists and turn into them.
  • Make eye contact when approaching a motorist positioned for a left turn ahead of you.
  • Maintain a straight line unless you need to execute a instant turn or quick stop.

    2. Right turn

  • Right turning motorists may turn just after overtaking a cyclist; avoid blind spots.
  • Be aware of overtaking motorists in high traffic situations with constant scanning.
  • Watch the front wheel of the car or look for a signal and avoid them as they turn.

    3. Crossing

  • Motorists may not recognize a cyclist's right to the road and pull out in front of them
  • Do not ride so far to the right that you are not in the motorist's normal scanning area
  • Announce your presence loudly to try and get a motorist's attention before they move

    4. Prevention

  • Always wear bright clothing to make yourself more visible day and night
  • Learn to recognize when motorists will turn and when they will wait
  • Ride predictably where you will be seen and always wear a helmet just in case

    5. Assert yourself

  • Plan to take your right of way but be prepared to act to avoid collision
  • Use hand signals, a bell, your voice, lights, anything to get the attention of motorists
  • Always be aware of a safe way out whether you expect to use it or not


    Troop 33 Bicycling Page

    Cliff Golden