Remember that when you’re riding a bike, you’re considered a motor vehicle. Stop at red lights and don’t go until they’re green, and use hand signals to make turns. The more predictable you are, the less likely you are to be hit by a car—motorists can anticipate where you’re going.
Check that your bike is ready.
Do the “ABC Quick” check before you take your bike out: (A)ir: Make sure your tires have air and are inflated to the correct PSI, which can be found on the side of the tire. (B)rakes: Be sure your brakes are functioning properly. Try both levers to see that they’re able to stop your front and back wheels. (C)hain: Your chain should look like two parallel lines from above; no kinks or breaks. Ensure it’s not gunked up with dirt, and that it’s well lubricated. (Quick) Release: Many bikes have quickrelease levers on their wheels and seat post. If a wheel lever isn’t fully closed, you might lose a wheel when you roll over a pothole.
Street photography by Sam Polcer, author of Preferred Mode (the blog) and New York Bike Style (the book).