If you haven’t already realized, Fort Collins is a proud biking community. This is made evident by the bike racks located outside of most businesses and the dozens of bike shops in town. As a Fort Collins resident, and especially as a college student on CSU’s campus that lacks the proper amount of parking spots, biking will likely become your new source of transportation. As you begin your new life as an avid bicyclist, here are some tips to keep you and your bike safe on campus and around town:
Purchase a U-lock.
When it comes to buying a bike lock, cable locks are immensely cheaper, but they are also a lot riskier. If you lock up your bike with a cable, all someone needs to steal your bike is a tool to cut the cable. However, if you would rather be “better safe than sorry” and get the U-lock, you may be slightly annoyed with the price and the extra weight that it adds to your backpack, but you will know that your bike is safe and sound where you left it.
Park your bike in a popular and well lit area.
While it is always tempting to find a spot that you don’t have to complete with other bikes for, resist the urge to leave your bike in a dark and secluded area. Always find somewhere that other people have also parked their bikes at, preferably with a street light nearby. This way, someone will likely notice if your bike is being stolen and will be able to report it.
Don’t put it pass someone to steal your bike, but also don’t put it pass Fort Collins residents to take action if someone is stealing your bike. Everyone here understands the importance of having your bike safe.
Don’t forget your lights.
Keep your bike lights in your backpack at all times. You never know when a study session will run late, and you never want to ride home in the dark without lights on the front and back of your bike. While Fort Collins drivers are very aware of the fact that bikers are everywhere, you still want to make yourself as visible as possible when riding at night. And especially at dawn and dusk.
Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you’re immune to driving laws.
As a biker, it is your responsibility to abide by driving laws and guidelines. Stay in the bike lane as best as you can, and stay to the side of the street in neighborhoods or on side roads where there are no bike lanes. Be sure to signal when you are turning or moving to the other side of the road, and always make sure that cars around you know what you are doing.
And the same goes for when you’re driving a car.
It will take a while to get used to bikers being everywhere, but double check the bike lane when you’re turning and remember to look both ways more than once. Bikers are fast, and they will sneak up on you.