Road cycling etiquette
With a few tips and rules you can enjoy the Dolomite roads in all their beauty
In the last few years, more and more cyclists have been drawn to the Dolomites to climb the legendary roads and passes that have made cycling history. If you too want to take up the challenge whilst at the same time contributing to maintaining a harmonious relationship between cyclists and car drivers, it is important to observe a few basic rules.
1. Stick to the road traffic regulations
The Italian highway code regulates the way people move around in traffic, and this includes cyclists. Here are some of the rules: stay in the right-hand lane, do not cross when the lights are on red, give way at junctions, use your arms to give clear signals when turning.
2. Don't show everyone how much you love your mobile phone
Remember that, as when driving a car, it is absolutely forbidden to use your mobile phone when cycling. If you have to use it, stop where it is possible to do so without causing any unnecessary and dangerous obstructions.
3. Love your bike as much as you love yourself
Before every tour, in addition to having eaten well, you should check that your bike is in good working order. Brakes, lights (front and rear), reflectors (rear and side reflectors on wheels and pedals), bell and tyres - everything needs to be in place and in good working order. And remember, a repair kit is an indispensable companion.
4. Never ride without a helmet
Don't try to be a superhero, don't feel as if you have to behave like the Tarzan of the hairpin bends: use your head and always wear a helmet, even for the shortest journeys, and don't be precious about this. And please ensure your children wear one, too, when they are out and about on their bikes.
5. Strictly one behind the other!
If you ride in a group, remember that, on cycle paths, as well as on the road, it is compulsory to ride in single file. Never take leave of your common sense. We all know that you can ride at very high speeds, but that doesn't mean that you have to. Ease off, especially downhill, so that you always remain in control, and match your speed to the prevailing circumstances.
6. Don’t remain in the dark!
If you want everyone to admire your achievements, you’ve got to make sure that you are clearly visible. Lights and reflectors must be fitted and used correctly (the traffic code prescribes their use after sunset to half an hour before sunrise as well as in all circumstances of poor visibility, including tunnels, during the day. And if you change direction, you must indicate your intention in advance by using your arm.
7. Don’t go thinking there is no one else around
The road is a shared resource and there is enough space for everyone. When you go out cycling, remember that you have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. So, respect the rules and demand respect from others on the road. Move wisely, but with caution and confidence.
8. Don't be a litter-lout, but be considerate and polite
Don't drop paper or other rubbish on the ground. If you have any waste, gather it up and dispose of it in the appropriate bin. A clean road is a truly lovely sight. The roads you cycle on are part of the common ecosystem that we all share. Don't ever forget that.
It is customary among cyclists to greet one another when they meet. And of course, people are always happy to help if necessary.
9. Don't get any weird ideas
When cycling, it is forbidden to be pulled along by others, to be towed by any kind of vehicle or to have animals in tow. Always keep this in mind!
10. Keep your hands on the handlebars
Of course you may well feel like Chris Froome at the Tour de France, but you need to be secure in your saddle and always have at least one hand on the handlebar. It is essential to be able to see freely ahead of you as well as to both sides at all times in order to be able to execute any necessary manoeuvres in time.