General tips for safe cycling in traffic

Crossing Streets:

Cyclists do not have priority when crossing streets. When you are in a bike lane that runs alongside the car lane, exercise caution around cars turning onto other streets.

Riding Among Cars:

Cycling on streets with a speed limit of 50 km/h is not inherently dangerous. Maintain a distance of approximately 1 meter from the sidewalk to allow cars ample space for overtaking without getting too close. This positioning will also help you steer clear of sewer hatches, merging cars, and pedestrians crossing the streets. Additionally, you will enhance your visibility, particularly at crossroads and intersections.

Avoid riding excessively close to the right side of the lane, particularly when cars are parked along the street. Exercise caution to avoid potential hazards like opening car doors.

Useful Equipment:

Lights (required for riding at night), mudguards, fenders, a bell, rear rack, or a basket are all beneficial for urban cycling. For short rides within the city, there’s no need for specialized sportswear or cycling kits; everyday clothing is more practical. To avoid sweating, it’s advisable not to wear a backpack on your back while riding.

Turning Left:

To turn left, first check behind you and signal your intention with your arm well in advance. Then, when it’s safe, change lanes and wait at the intersection. In heavy traffic, consider making a right turn initially, then waiting until the road is clear before proceeding with your left turn (i.e., indirect left turn).

One-Way Streets:

Riding against the flow of traffic in one-way streets is prohibited, even in residential streets, unless traffic signs allow it. The amount of one-way streets with contraflow cycling allowed is increasing around Czechia. But still, it is not a very common sight.

Cycle lanes

A cycle lane is a designated portion of the road reserved for cyclists. When the lane comes to an end, refrain from transitioning onto the sidewalk. Instead, continue moving forward cautiously and smoothly merge with the traffic on the right-hand side. Even when utilizing cycle lanes, exercise caution regarding the possibility of parked cars opening their doors.

Riding in the Middle of the Lane:

Position yourself in the middle of the lane when the road is too narrow for cars to overtake you safely. Always ride in the center of the lane while approaching and navigating roundabouts, at intersections, and in other potentially hazardous situations where you prefer not to be overtaken. Prior to moving to the middle of the lane, signal your intent with your arm. Demonstrating self-assured behavior in advance often earns respect from drivers.

Parking the Bike:

Parking your bike on the street is permissible. Use a high-quality „U“ lock; avoid using a cheap cable lock. Securely lock the frame—not just the wheel—to a stable, immovable object. Opt for a highly visible and well-trafficked location for bike parking. The preferred racks include those shaped like an inverted „U“.

Paths for Pedestrians and Cyclists:

Exercise thoughtfulness and courtesy when sharing paths with pedestrians. When overtaking pedestrians, do so gradually and maintain a safe distance. If pedestrians are unaware of your presence, provide a signal, such as ringing a bell, or otherwise indicate your approach well in advance.

Tramway Rails:

Tramway rails pose a potential hazard due to their slippery nature. Take precautions to prevent your tire from becoming caught by crossing the rails as perpendicularly as possible and avoid making turns over them. When space between the rails, parked cars, or sidewalks is limited, choose to ride between the rails rather than on the right side.

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