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Here are a few good habits to follow on every bike ride, whether you’re heading for a local cycleway or making the daily commute.

Man riding on road.

Plan where to go

Choose the easiest route to your destination — quiet streets, cycleways and shared paths are helpful. Imagine yourself riding the route and think about the intersections ahead.

Check your gear

Wear an approved helmet and check your bike regularly: look at brakes, tyres, wheels, chain, lights, and reflectors.

Checking your bike

Look around you

Check over your right shoulder for other vehicles, often. Look ahead for car doors opening, potholes, rubbish, grates, loose gravel and people walking. Always check for left turning vehicles.

Ride in the right place to be seen

Positioning is an important part of riding on the road.   Ride in a straight line and keep left, usually around 1 metre out from the kerb or parked cars. This helps you see what is ahead, and it helps drivers to see you and predict where you are going.

There are times when you should change your position and move further out. This is known as taking the lane. Important times to do this:

  • approaching a roundabout
  • turning right at an intersection
  • sometimes when the road is narrow or when passing parked cars.

Here's how to take the lane: use a hand signal, check over your shoulder then move towards the centre of the lane.  After the roundabout or intersection, pull back towards the kerb.

Taking the lane(external link)

Watch: positioning and hand signals at intersections

Video courtesy of Auckland Transport.

Signal what you're doing

  • use hand signals to indicate before turning
  • make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians
  • follow the road rules, including for traffic lights, give way and stop signs.
  • at a stop sign, you need to come to a complete stop and put one foot on the ground
  • shared paths: slow down and ring your bell or call out before passing someone, for example "on your right!"

Be bright at night

At night, use front and rear lights. Lights need to be seen from 200 metres. Aim your headlight downward at a slight angle so it doesn't dazzle drivers. Wear reflective items.

Bike light reviews(external link)