To the beach. To get ice cream. To a friend’s house. A short cycle around the cul de sac, or a long trip out to Sconset, be sure you are prepared for biking on Nantucket, no matter your age or fitness level.
It’s always a great time to refresh on the traffic safety rules for vehicle drivers and bicyclists. This is especially the case on Nantucket, where traffic can be highly congested and streets narrow and confusing.
17 Bicycle Safety Tips for Nantucket
Brought to you by Young’s Bicycle Shop, Fisher Real Estate, the Town of Nantucket and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
○ Keep to the right, single file, except when passing.
○ Follow all vehicular rules: do not ride the wrong way down a one-way street.
○ If you have an electric bike, please definitely indicate when you are passing someone – and do not operate your bike at excessive speeds, take into consideration those around you
○ Be cautious in traffic! Passing on the left of vehicles is a bad idea.
○ Walk bicycles on sidewalks. Please do not ride your bike on sidewalks – especially in the downtown area
○ Walk your bike for your own safety on cobblestone streets.
○ Give a clear warning (BELL, HORN OR “Passing on the left!”) when passing a pedestrian or other biker.
○ At night, use a light in the front and the back, and proper pedal and side reflectors.
○ Be cautious of sandy patches.
○ Helmets are required for children under 16 years old. Kids should ride between the adults at all times.
○ Always wear a helmet. Make sure it’s properly fitted.
○ Stop at all stop signs and street crossings on the bike paths. The small stop signs are meant for cyclists.
○ Bring your phone. Turn the ringer off for peace, but have it for emergencies.
○ Fill a water bottle or two and bring a snack for long rides.
○ Bring a map of the island along with you.
○ Have a few extra dollars for the unexpected.
○ Properly inflate your tires and bring a replacement tube?
DRIVERS: Please be patient. As automobile operators, it’s good to remember how cyclists lighten our automotive traffic. More often than not, the bicycle has the right of way. Be alert and look ahead for cyclists in crosswalks.
Please see this link for activities for children, including safety basics, helmet stickers, signals and crossing rules, it is a fun and interactive site.