Is Your City Bikeable?

If you ride in your city, you may think it has pretty decent bikeability. After all, you get around alright. However, not every city that people ride their bike in is considered bikeable. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a checklist for local riders to access the bikeability of their town.

This checklist covers items like whether or not lights register for bikes, if drivers behave appropriately around bikes, and even the basics of whether or not there are bike paths to ride on. This can help riders access the true bikeability of any local area. Furthermore, it also works to point out problems that we might not have really taken stock in, such as a lack of really safe places to secure a bike or too many scary dogs that harass riders.

Making Your City More Bikeable

Unfortunately, your local area, like many, will probably score pretty low. The good news is that the checklist can be a good way for local cyclists to identify and address problems. The checklist even adds on ways that you can foster healthy change in your community.

Yet, even by knowing what you need to change, it can be difficult to foster healthy change, especially by yourself. If you are an avid bike rider in your town, you may want to find, or even start, a group of like-minded individuals that can help show your local government that, yes, there are cyclists in your city and they want a safe and friendly place to ride.

Unfortunately, even if you are able to make a positive change in your community, change often comes slowly. Until less bikeable cities become better, they pose a risk for those that do ride the roads. If you have been injured while riding, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to representing the rights of injured riders, and we want to help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Safe Cycling for a Fun Way to Stay Fit

As we get older, eating healthily, exercising regularly, and trying to stay fit has become more important. I know; every day, adulthood seems more and more like a synonym for doing things I don’t want to do. But, exercise doesn’t have to be one of those things.

Riding a bicycle is not just a fun way to stay fit and fight disease. Choosing to ride a bike instead of driving a car for short-distance trips saves money on gas and is good for the environment. 

Because it’s fun to be out in the sun, admiring the predictable randomness of nature, wind whipping at our ears, cyclists are more likely to finish their exercise in a better mood than the average gym rat. And the nostalgic feeling of coasting down a hill, relaxing, hands free, leaned back, confident in the laws of physics, is a feeling that beckons cyclists to frequent their vehicle and their routine.

The production of serotonin, the chemical in our brain that creates happiness, is positively related to duration spent in sunlight. Exercise produces serotonin, too, and aerobic exercise, like cycling, is proven to produce higher levels of serotonin than other forms. Riding outdoors in the sunlight is not only a delightful experience that doesn’t require one to talk herself or himself into but an exercise that is proven to be a deterrent of disease and mental illness.

Cycling is a low-impact exercise, causing less compressive strain than running or even walking. Cycling can be an easy exercise with low stress—perfect for beginners and people who are recovering or rehabilitating—or a fast-paced, demanding workout. Riding bicycles builds muscle, stamina, aerobic fitness, and strengthens the cardiovascular system. Bicycles can effectively replace a variety of tools and machines.

Advanced cyclists agree that the most effective way for a beginner to exercise is by performing sets, or repetitions, of low-intensity and high-intensity intervals. Following expert tips like these can ensure a cyclist’s safety and efficiency. 

1. Do sets. 

As a cyclist progresses, she or he will increase the number of sets done in one session. This is set that can be used by both beginners and advanced cyclists: two minutes hard, two minutes easy, one minute hard, one minute easy, 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy, 15 seconds hard, five minutes easy.

2. Explore. 

Many people go to the same gym or the same trail every day. One of the great benefits to    bicycling is that it can be done almost anywhere: the woods, neighborhoods, parks, sidewalks. By exploring new areas, cyclists feed the desire for adventure, making boredom an obscure relic.    

3. Safety first! 

Get good gear. This doesn’t mean that a bicycle has to be expensive or even new, but it is important for a cyclist to have reliable equipment. Every cyclist will need these things: helmet, pump, basic toolkit, and a water bottle.

4. Learn basic maintenance. 

Flat tires are a common occurrence for cyclists, and, while annoying at first, eventually, become a quick-fix that’s as second-nature as riding a bike. Experts recommend practicing changing tires at home, rather than frustrated on the side of a trail. Before embarking, a cyclist should perform a routine checklist to make sure every piece of equipment is working properly: wheels, chain, brakes, all of which can be maintained with minimal tools and training.

5. Ride in a pack. 

Riding with a group of friends is a great way to learn to keep a good, steady pace. Plus, time flies when you’re having fun, there’s safety in numbers, two heads are better than one, and all that.

The most important things for any beginning cyclist to remember are to be safe and to have fun. The benefits to cycling are seemingly endless, and the most difficult thing for a beginner is to start something new. Humans are creatures of habit, but, once our feet find comfort on the pedals, all kinds of adventures become apparent, and setting out on them becomes easier and easier. 

If you or someone you care about has been injured while cycling, contact Gary Brustin, “the bicycle lawyer.”


Adjusting Your Bike For Optimum Bicycle Safety

Bicycle Safety

There are a lot of ways to stay safe on a bike. Wearing a helmet is a good start, but for all the things we know to do to stay safe, adjusting your bicycle sits firmly at the bottom of that list. Many will adjust their bicycles so that it sits them comfortable, and that is an important part, but are you so sure that adjustment is safe?

How to Adjust Your Road Bike

There is no right answer as to how to adjust your road bike. Every person’s set up is different because every person is a different size. However, there are some general rules that will help you make adjustments so that you ride as safe as possible.

  • Adjusting Braking Levels – When you have your hands on the brakes on your handlebars, your wrists should be straight, not dipped or overextended, perfectly straight. This will allow you to brake quickly and the act will not be painful to your wrists over an extended period.
  • Seat Height – For the optimum comfort of your body on a bicycle, your seat height should be adjusted. However, what is the right height? In truth, if you sit, placing your heel on the pedal in the fully down position, your leg should be straight. If your leg is straight in this position while sitting, then your seat is adjusted correctly.
  • Mirrors – Not everyone uses mirrors on their bicycles, but for those who do, they should be aware that they will need to be readjusted for every change you make on a bike.

While the above can help keep you safe on the road, often it is the other people we need to worry about. If you have been in a bicycling accident, contact us today to see what we can do to help you.

How to Transport Items on Your Bicycle

Cycling for Transportation

For many who cycle, they adopt it as their primary means of transportation. As such, there may come a time when you need to transport items on your bicycle. While not technically illegal in some regard, the best rule of thumb is that you can carry anything as long as it doesn’t impede traffic and allows you to keep both hands on the handlebars.

For example, you wouldn’t be able to get away with hauling a 12 foot cut of lumber on the back of your bike as it would be a danger to anyone else on the road. Furthermore, if you were cycling with a box under your arm, you would probably be pulled over as it impaired your ability to steer a bicycle.

Best Ways to Transport Items on Your Bicycle

Your best option for carrying most items is either the classic basket on the front or a rack on the back. Anything from a bag of tacos to groceries from the store will fit on these two spots without issue. Of course, you may need to use your imagination. If you make unexpected stops for stuff, it may be worthwhile to carry a few bungee cords or even shoes laces with you to secure items. Even in a pinch, your own bike lock may be helpful.

For the bigger loads, you may want to look into wagons that can be attached to bikes. As these don’t really impede traffic or your ability to ride, they can be helpful when hauling larger items on your bicycle.

While hauling things on a bicycle is generally pretty safe to do, it doesn’t change the fact that bicycle accidents will still happen. If you have been in a bicycle accident, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Gary Brustin can do to help you get the compensation that you deserve.

3 Useful Tips for Safer Night Cycling

On the whole, cycling is a safe mode of transportation. While it’s true that if a cyclist and a motorist collide it’s the cyclist who’s more likely to be injured, those collisions aren’t as frequent as you might think. However, accidents do happen, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most of those accidents happen at night and in urban areas. To that end, let’s go over a few useful tips for how you can cycle safely at night, particularly in urban areas with heavy traffic.

Use High-visibility Gear

High-visibility gear is one of your best defenses against cycling injuries when traveling at night. If it lights up, reflects, or otherwise indicates your presence to motorists, use it. Reflective tape, for instance, can be placed on your seat, wheels, gear, and even onto your clothing while you travel at night. When headlights hit the tape, it lights up and tells drivers you’re there. Flashing tail lights that clip or screw onto your bike are also advisable, as are reflective helmets and headlights.

Go Back to Basics

If you’re an experienced cyclist, you know the basics, but it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself of them once in a while. This is particularly true if you’re traveling in a riskier-than-usual environment, such as cycling at night. The League of American Bicyclists advises cyclists to use a system called “ABC Quick Check”. A is for air, B is for brakes, C is for cranks and chain, Quick is for quick releases, and Check is to check the entire bike over. Again, this might seem rudimentary to someone who’s been cycling for a long time, but it’s worth doing when heading out at night. The more responsibly you cycle, the less of a chance there is that you’ll get injured.

Stay On the Road and Be Vigilant

Many cyclists, even those with years of experience, feel tempted to ride on sidewalks at night thinking they’ll reduce their risk of getting hit by a car if they stay off the road. However, most cyclist safety guides, like those provided by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, warn cyclists that riding on sidewalks can actually put them at a higher risk. The reason for this is that motorists are looking for cyclists on the roads. They don’t expect cyclists to be on sidewalks. When you’re on a sidewalk, you’re invisible, so if you suddenly have to go back onto the road or you fall off the sidewalk for some reason, they’ll never see you coming. Of course, that means they’ll have very little time, if any, to correct their course. Never assume the motorists can see you. Stay on the road, be vigilant, remain observant, and don’t let your guard down.

Follow these tips, and you can go a long way to preventing an accident when cycling at night.

Have you been involved in a bicycle-related accident? Contact us today for legal help. We’re here to help you.


Do You Have to Ride Single File When Cycling?

Single File Cycling

Cycling is good for both the body and the mind as well as an environmentally friendly way to travel. However, it is also better with a friend. If you travel the same scenery every day, having someone to talk to can help keep things fresh. Yet while cycling, can you ride next to them as you travel or do you need to keep things single file where you mind as well be cycling alone?

State to State Laws

The answer, like many things, will vary by the state. There are currently 39 states that explicitly allow the cyclist to ride two abreast, but many of those states have specific conditions. It is best to look up the particular rules for your state before heading out on a group ride, but the general best rule of thumb to consider is to only ride two abreast when there is room to do so.

For example, when room in the bike lane allows, traveling two abreast is fine. Yet, many states only allow two-deep travel on roads if you are riding along the shoulder and if there is room while others recommend filing out if a car needs to pass. So usually, the thing to be considerate of is “if there is room.” Unfortunately, in many cases, since roads were built for cars, there is the room to ride next to your friend.

The Takeaway

While you may not be sure if you can ride two-by-two with other cyclists, since some states do not have rules either way as well, it is always best to use your best judgment. If you are not impeding traffic, most law enforcement officers won’t even give you a glance for doing so even in states where not allowed. It is always recommended to ride safely regardless of the rules. For more safety tips on cycling and law regarding cyclists, contact us today.

Bike Safety Tips: Unexpected Ways to Stay Safe on Your Bike


Riding your bike can be dangerous, and that’s usually the fault of people driving in cars. Even so, it’s better to be safe than to be hurt but have the right of things. Here are three surprising bike safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Hog the road.

There’s something about being on a bike that can make you feel like you’re getting in the way. Maybe it’s the car that’s been on your tail because it can’t swerve around you. Maybe it’s the pointed burst of speed that car has when they finally can pass you by crossing into the other empty lane. But no matter what prickle on the back of your neck is letting you know that someone is glaring at you, don’t try to get out of the way.

If you’re using the whole lane like you have a right to, then drivers will see you. They might be annoyed that they can’t pass you, but drivers very rarely hit bikers out of malice. But if you’re riding on the edge of the road, drivers either won’t see you or they’ll think they have enough room to get around you, whether you invited them to or not.

2. Be a pedestrian.

When you’re crossing a pedestrian lane, it’s better to get off your bike. Even if you think you might be improving the situation by getting out of the way faster, it’s better to walk. Not only do you have more mobility in case drivers aren’t paying attention, it’s safer both medically and legally. Drivers are usually held liable without much of a contest if you did the right thing and got off your bike.

3. Don’t be a professional.

Just like the first point above, you need to stand out. Lack of visibility is the main problem when it comes to collisions. So you want to be as bright and colorful as possible. Make sure your reflectors are in position. Wear bright, flashy clothing rather than your work clothes. And if you’re in the market for a new helmet (which you should absolutely be wearing), consider the tacky one with the spikes. Drivers will look at you askance, but they’ll look at you.

For more bike safety tips, browse our legal blog at the Law Office of Gary Brustin.

2 Technicalities to Know About California Bike Paths


The nature of biking is always changing. Many commuters are switching to bicycles for a healthy alternative route. Some bicyclists are also switching to electric or assisted bikes that operate both like a traditional bike and a motorized one. The concept of “biking” is also expanding to include the idea of mainstream electric scooters. But the one thing that never changes is that the devil is the details. Keep these details in mind if you’re on a California bike path:

Your bike might not be allowed on the bike path.

In general, bike riders need to stay on available bike paths. But this rule of thumb is for traditional, manually powered bikes. If you have an electric one, check which type, or class, it belongs. In Type 3 electric bicycles can reach an assisted speed of 28 miles per hour and should be driven on the road instead. Sometimes, local authorities change the rule, so check with your city.

But if you have a type 1 or type 2 bicycle, which can’t reach that top speed, the bike paths are safe to use. If local authorities would prefer you stay off of them, they’ll mark the path with a sign prohibiting motorized bikes.

When can you exit the bike path?

Once you know your bike is allowed on the path, you should stay in that cleared zone as much as possible. The only exceptions are when you’re making turns and avoiding hazards. If you’re planning a trip to a new location, check it out with a crowdsourced bike path app. While it won’t perfectly indicate potential problems, it can give you a better idea of recent construction projects and where authorized turn lanes are.

Bike paths are largely intuitive, and it’s easier to stay safe once you’re familiar with the route and lane markings. Check out the rest of our biking blog for more recommendations about safe and legal bike riding.

3 Dangerous Spots for Cycling in Residential Areas


Every city has a slightly different biking environment, and that extends to the local laws and ordinances at play. Some cities require bicyclists to stay on the road if they’re over the age of thirteen. Some cities allow and even prefer,  sidewalk cycling in specific areas. But even if you’re well-versed in your town’s preferred cycling routes, the pedestrians and drivers around you will be less prepared. Be extra vigilant in these three locations:

1. Neighborhoods with front-facing driveways.

Whether you’re on the road or on the sidewalk, front-facing driveways are a unique hazard. People reversing out of their homes may have checked the road for other vehicles but not for bicycles. There are also more obstructions, such as the neighbors’ driveways that prevent visibility if around cautious drivers. If you’re on the sidewalk, you also need to look for cars that are parked over the sidewalk’s path. Under most circumstances, you have the right of way. But be cautious and, in the event of a collision, take note of the specific circumstances.

2. Intersections.

Opportunities for uncertainty are the most dangerous when you’re on a bike, and that’s true even in neighborhoods. If you see an intersection approaching, slow down and check if it’s a four-way stop or if one direction is a through lane. If you’re on the sidewalk and next to a car that’s waiting to turn in front of your path, try to establish eye contact and communicate who will go first.

3. Neighborhood exits.

Luckily, many drivers are vigilant in neighborhoods because they are less surprised to see bicyclists. However, once drivers are turning onto a major road, that passive expectation fades. The most dangerous sidewalk position is if you’re going against the flow of traffic near an exit point. Drivers look left to check for approaching traffic, and that includes glancing at the sidewalk. They’re much less likely to check the sidewalk to the right.

Being cautious while biking keeps you safe, but it doesn’t remove drivers’ responsibility to do the same. If you’ve been in a collision, contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin for a plaintiff attorney who can help.

6 Simple Tips for Safer Cycling

Bicycles are a great way to get some exercise, have fun, enjoy the weather, and get around affordably. However, it is important to ride safely. Here are some tips for safer cycling.

Make Sure It Fits

Get a bicycle that actually fits you. The saddle should be not too high as that your feet can not pedal properly and not too low, which will hinder your pedaling. It should also be the perfect distance away from the handlebars so that you can control your bike properly. The handlebars also have to be the right height.

Ditch Those Headphones

Listening to music is relaxing, and listening to podcasts is informational, but they should not be done while riding your bike. You need to be able to hear sounds from vehicles, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

No Phone Either

Don’t text and drive your bike. Don’t even take it out for a peek. If it’s an emergency, pull over to a safe place before taking it out. It is a good idea to put your phone on silent so that it doesn’t distract you when it rings or vibrates.

Use Both Hands For Safer Cycling

Always use both hands when riding your bike. This will help you steer better. In addition, it will help you avoid jerky turns, especially when unexpected obstacles appear. It will make braking easier as well.

Don’t Be Unpredictable

Always ride in a predictable manner. Don’t swerve suddenly out of the path you were going. Cars that are driving behind you may not be able to turn so quickly. That’s why you need to be on the lookout for potential obstacles so that they don’t surprise you.

Wear a Cap

If you are going to be riding directly in the sunlight, a cap may help improve your vision. A glaring sun can make it harder to see what is in front of you.

For legal help in case of an accident, contact us.

Michigan Considers Adding Bicycle Safety to Driver’s Education Curriculum

Any cyclist knows that the biggest danger on the road is other drivers. It is not even because motorists are acting somehow malicious to cyclists either. Most of the time, accidents involving cyclists are caused purely because a motorist doesn’t know how to share the road. However, Michigan lawmakers are considering forcing the next generation of drivers to learn by adding bicycle safety to their driver’s education curriculum.

The House Committee on Transportation moved this bill to the Michigan House floor. In it, the bill states that driver’s education curriculum would now include at least one hour of instruction on the laws and safety revolving around bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and anything else classified as vulnerable roadway users. As there are already pieces of curriculum for pedestrians and motorcycles, this will be more centered on bicycle safety than anything else.

Co-sponsors and supporters of this bull state that motorists are often confused by the number of different bicycle pathways that are appearing in many Michigan communities. This is especially true when it comes to bicycle pathways that are installed between roads and parking areas. Some drivers may know that they are not allowed into bicycle lanes, but then they don’t know how to park without just zipping through them.

Hopefully, the bill, which is now being voted on, passes and goes into law. While it won’t do anything for many of the drivers on the road today, it does paint a potentially safer future for cyclists as more teens take to the road with full knowledge of how to share the road with bicycles.

Unfortunately, until everyone becomes educated on how to share the road with bicycles, accidents will still happen. If you have been in a cycling accident with a motorist, you need someone who is in your corner. Contact us so the Law Office of Gary Brustin can make sure you get the compensation that your injuries deserve.

How to Stay Safe When On Your Bike

Riding a bicycle can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise.  When riding a bike, it is important that you follow the proper precautions to ensure you remain safe.  There are several bike safety tips that should be followed to ensure you remain safe while on the road.

Go with Traffic

One of the main tips that you need to follow when riding your bike is to go with the traffic patterns as much as possible.  When you are riding your bike, you need to ride on the same side of the road as traffic.  You also need to properly follow all street lights, signs, and other local regulations.  Furthermore, you should avoid crossing streets when it is not allowed and weaving between traffic.


When you are riding your bike, you also need to make sure that you stay as alert as possible. While you may want to listen to music or zone out when on your bike, you need to continue to stay focused whenever you are biking. This will allow you to recognize a potential hazard and avoid an accident.

Stay Visible

When on your bike, you also need to try and make yourself as visible as possible.  Some great ways to do this is to stay in designated biking areas, avoid being hidden behind trucks and big cars, and making the appropriate hand signals and gestures when necessary.  You could also try and make eye contact with nearby drivers to ensure that they are aware of your presence.  When biking at night, you should make sure your bike as proper lights and reflectors and that you are wearing brighter clothes.

While you can be as safe as possible when riding a bicycle, you still may find yourself in an accident at some point.  If you are involved in an accident while riding your bike, you should contact us immediately. We can help to ensure your rights are properly represented.