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Tips, Resources, and Materials

Bicycling Safety Resources

Statutes of Bicycling Requirements

Bicycling Laws

Bicycle Safety Guide

Bicycle Safer Journey
(Interactive Bicycle Safety Awareness Presentation)

Bicycle Safety Tips for Adults

Bike Efficiency

Use lower gears

  • Most beginning cyclists push too big a gear; down shift and spin a smaller gear
  • Low cadence will cause you to fatigue faster and might cause knee pain
  • Try to spin about 90 rpms; you'll have more energy and get a better workout

No bull

  • When stopped, don't push off the ground to get started
  • Leave one pedal in the two o'clock position; push down when you are ready to go
  • You'll have enough momentum to balance and put your other foot on the pedal


  • You should be comfortable while you ride
  • Relax while you ride; it takes energy to grip the handlebar in fear
  • Change hand positions often, slightly bend your elbows, stretch your neck while riding

Don't rock the boat

  • Make sure that your saddle (the seat) height is adjusted properly
  • Too high and your hips rock; too low causes knee pain
  • You should have a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke

Skip the soft shoes

  • Soft-soled shoes absorb pedaling energy and slow you down
  • Stiff-soled cycling shoes help you transfer more energy to forward motion
  • Toe clips and clipless pedals attach your foot to the pedal, which increases efficiency

Red light, green light

  • Restarting from a stop uses more energy than slowing and not stopping
  • Time it so that you hit the intersection on green so you don't have to stop
  • Make sure that you are aware of how your actions affect other vehicles around you

Avoid the wall

  • Listen to your body while you ride to avoid hitting the wall of exhaustion
  • Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty to avoid fatigue
  • If you experience a lightheaded feeling, get off the bike and get some fluids


Overcoming Excuses


I'm out of shape

  • Ride at an easy pace; in a few months you'll be in great shape
  • Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work
  • You'll improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter

It takes too long

  • The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride the faster you'll get
  • Trips of less than three miles will be quicker by bike
  • Trips of five to seven miles may take the same time or less than by car

It's too far

  • Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day
  • Combine riding and busing to shorten your commute
  • Ride to a co-worker's house and carpool to work

No bike parking

  • Look around for a storage area in your building or office
  • Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office
  • Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside

My bike is beat up

  • Biking isn't a beauty contest. Even ugly bikes ride well when given a tune up.
  • If you can't maintain your bike yourself, there are numerous local shops that can work on it
  • Make sure your bike is reliable and in good working order before you start riding

No showers

  • Most commuters don't shower at work; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry
  • Keep a small supply of toiletries at your worksite to freshen up if you feel the need
  • If you have a work neighbor with showers, ask about the possibility of using them

I have to dress up

  • Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive
  • If you have a short commute, ride in your clothes at a relaxed pace
  • Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding
  • Identify a laundry close to work where you can bring your clothes and pick up for a fresh change

I can't predict the weather

  • Fenders and rain gear will keep you plenty dry in wet weather
  • If you're at work, take transit or carpool to get home - you can bicycle home the next day

I have to run errands

  • Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity
  • Allow yourself a little extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking
  • People will be impressed when they learn you do your errands on a bike
  • Schedule your errands for certain days of the week and ride your bike on other days


Bike to Work Tips

Bike to Work Tip #1
Remember to smile as you bicycle past the rows of cars waiting at the intersection - it's just polite.

Bike to Work Tip #2
Most people don't need to shower after a morning commute. But if you want to freshen up, a few toiletries like a washcloth, hand towel, brush or comb are convenient to keep at your desk and easy to use.

Bike to Work Tip #3
Your skull is only about as thick as a dinner plate - and about as fragile. Consider wearing a helmet whenever you ride.

Bike to Work Tip #4
Bicycling to work can be part of the 90 minutes of activity health officials deem necessary to lose weight.

Bike to Work Tip #5
The right tire pressure will help you avoid flats, ride smoother and coast farther. Check your pressure once a week to ensure your tires are properly inflated.

Bike to Work Tip #6
To find an easy and safe bike route for your commute, check your city's bike map before you start to ride. Many are located on the web under city offices.

Bike to Work Tip #7
Eat ... peddle ... eat ... peddle ... eat ... peddle. Don't miss one of the breakfast stations in your community.

Bike to Work Tip #8
Test your senses. Try to identify the different aromas you smell on your daily ride - you'll be amazed at the varieties of flowers in your community.

Bike to Work Tip #9
Motorists are accustomed to watching for large vehicles. Make you and your bike look big by wearing as much reflective clothing as possible.

Bike to Work Tip #10
Never ride against traffic! Ride in the right hand lane with the flow of traffic. Bicycling against the flow of traffic is against the law and extremely dangerous because motor vehicle drivers are not expecting wrong-way traffic. Riding the wrong way increases the chance of a head-on collision with vehicles moving with the normal traffic flow.

Bike to Work Tip #11
Ride as close to the right side of the right lane as safe and practical when being overtaken by another vehicle. Riding on the right doesn't mean hugging the curb or edge of the road. This is not the best place to ride because if you hit the curb or edge of the pavement, you might lose your balance and fall into traffic.

Bike to Work Tip #12
Ride in a straight line. Riding predictably makes you more visible to motorists. It's also easier for a motor vehicle to pass when you're riding in a straight line. Don't weave in and out of parked cars - you may disappear from motorists' sight and get squeezed out or clipped when you need to merge back into traffic.

Bike to Work Tip #13
You don't have to be an athlete to ride a bike to work. Get out and ride just for the fun of it.

Bike to Work Tip #14
No pre-determined schedules. No waiting. No clocks to watch. Enjoy the fun and freedom of riding a bike to work. Anyone can do it.

Bike to Work Tip #15
Too far to commute by bike? Consider riding to the closest bus stop and busing it from there.

Bike to Work Tip #16
Riding one-handed can be dangerous. Resist eating your morning bagel until you get to work.

Bike to Work Tip #17
Challenge your friends to see who can ride the most consecutive number of days. You may be surprised at how motivational a little competition can be.

Bike to Work Tip #18
Be a role model to your kids - wear your bike helmet.

Bike to Work Tip #19
Protect your manicured tootsies. Wear full-coverage shoes instead of sandals when you ride.

Bike to Work Tip #20
Have fun. Enjoy Bike to Work Day on June 25th.

Promotion Ideas

Ideas for Promoting Biking to Work in Your Organization

Hang Bike Month Posters in Visible Places
Have fun hanging bike month posters wherever possible -- hallways, lunch, rooms, elevators, bathroom doors -- wherever people tend to congregate or walk by. Make a game of it by asking others to hang a poster in an unlikely, but useful place.

Get the Word Out
Display a Bike Month t-shirt with bike map, balloons, etc.; include articles about bicycle commuting in your company newsletter; make presentations at staff meetings; encourage participation through memos, e-mail, phone messages and announcements.

Make It Easy To Participate

  • Identify secure bike parking options.
  • Get management involved - recruit top-level individuals to ride and encourage others.
  • Encourage co-workers to register and participate. Provide low-cost incentives to participants

Commuter Convoys or Bike Buddies
Encourage the development of "commuter partners" - riders to pair up and commute together on their bikes (these can be paired by experience, route, location, or whatever other designation you choose). List partners and routes on company intranet or bulletin boards so others can participate.

Technology Talks
E-mails are a great way to distribute quick and timely information. Use some of the Bike to Work tips included on your CD to attract attention, or dream up your own. Give people reminders for events, lunches, activities you plan or hear about. Help people remember to register for Bike Month.

Create various challenges in your workplace such as

  • Older employees vs. younger
  • Management vs. staff
  • Department vs. department
  • Collect a small dollar amount or prize from each department or participant. The winners get to split the pot. Other prize versions could be time off, lunch served by the department or individuals with the least number of days; a donated prize from a local restaurant or store, etc.

Create fun and easy awards for special achievements

  • Riding every day of the week
  • Riding the longest distance
  • Riding the shortest distance
  • Always wearing a helmet
  • Rider with best decorated bicycle
  • Distribute "I biked to work today" stickers

Start the Day Right
Host a morning "pit-stop". Energize your employees as they arrive to work with fresh coffee, bagels, fruit or juice. Keep it simple.

Finish the Day with Ease
Invite riders to an after work/before commute snack of juice, cheese and crackers.

Drawings for Prizes
Solicit local businesses for give-away rewards (restaurant certificates, movie passes, ice cream cone certificates). For everyone who bicycle commutes, put their names in a hat and draw daily or weekly prizes. You can also solicit staff members to provide prizes such as a plate of home cooked brownies, running an errand, making the morning coffee for a week, etc.

Use the Lunch Hour
Develop brown-bag lunches during the month to discuss bicycle commuting tips. Share this time to watch a bike maintenance video, or review a book. Ask one of your experienced riders to help present information on subjects such as:

  • What to wear
  • How to select a route
  • How to freshen up at the work place
  • What to do with "helmet hair"
  • Bike maintenance

Commuters of the Year
Nominate outstanding users of alternative transportation and encourage co-workers to vote for the Commuter of the Year. Develop categories such as

  • Longest commute
  • Most consistent commuter
  • Commuter to ride in the worst weather
  • Rookie commuter, etc.

Promote Family Biking
Host a bicycle rodeo for co-workers' children. Rodeos are fun to present and a great way for kids to learn the rules of the road, balance and other important riding skills.

Bicycle Fashion Show
Ask people to wear their craziest biking outfit, then judge the winners for a prize. Instead of the craziest outfit, select a theme of your own choosing -- warmest bike outfit, coolest, most colorful, safest, most layered outfit, etc.

Helmet Decorating Contest
Ask co-workers to bring in their old helmets and decorate them for a prize. Provide simple craft materials such as glue, crepe paper, sparkles, pipe cleaners, etc. Display the winning helmet in a prominent location.

Sample Newsletter

Sample Newsletter and E-mail Blurbs

June is Bike Month

This June is your opportunity to experience the fun and freedom of using a bicycle for transportation and recreation, because Bike Month is back in full force throughout Colorado.

In its tenth year, Bike Month provides activities for the entire family at all levels and abilities. From sanctioned races to bike parades, from breakfast rides to safety fairs and bike safety checks, from leisure rides to mountain bike clinics - there's lots to do to motivate and excite people about bicycling.

While Bike Month offers lots of bicycle opportunities, its main focus is to encourage bicycle riding as a viable alternative to driving one's car. With all the resources available to us, Bike Month is the perfect opportunity to experience riding to work, school and errands.

Bike to Work Day occurs annually every third Wednesday of June. Enjoy the fresh air and exercise of riding your bike to work. Join thousands of others who are making the change from driving alone to riding a bike to work. But don't stop there, consider riding one day a week every week and help reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and put a smile on your face.


Other Resources

Adventure Cycling Association

Alliance for Biking and walking

American Discovery Trail

American Trails

America Bikes

America Walks

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Information Centers

Colorado State Parks Trails Program

Complete Streets

League of American Bicyclists

Livewell Colorado

National Bicycle Safety Network

Pedestrian Information Centers

Rails to Trails Conservancy

Free Materials

To help you encourage and promote safe bicycling to co-workers, friends, and family, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Program provides free materials for your use.  Click on the link to download an ordering form and a complete list of all available materials.  The form includes instructions on how to return it to CDOT once you have filled in your requests.
CDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program ordering Form - PDF Format
CDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program ordering Form - Microsoft Word Format

Contact Information

CDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Program
4201 E. Arkansas Ave. DTD
Denver, CO 80222