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Biking basics: How to use a roundabout

By and

Whether you are gripping your bike handles for dear life going around the “circle of death” — the roundabout at the corner of Lausen and Escondido — or calmly cruising to Coupa, you are bound to have experienced the perils of Stanford’s roundabouts. And with the recent rainstorms — the first California has seen in months — an injury seems all the more likely. Keep yourself moving and your bones unbroken by following these bike safety tips compiled by The Daily. 

Steps to be a roundabout pro, according to Stanford Transportation:

  1. Yield to traffic and pedestrians already in the roundabout
  2. Enter when there is space to safely merge
  3. Take up the whole lane
  4. Ride COUNTER-CLOCKWISE (i.e. stay to the right)
  5. Signal when you exit

Know your hand signals! These are very important for alerting others of your intended movements, which is crucial to your safety, as well as that of the cyclists and motorists around you.

Following bike safety rules is important to not only protect yourself and others, but also to avoid a citation.

Under California law, you can get a ticket if you:

  • Ride on the sidewalk
  • Ride on the wrong side of the road
  • Do not stop at stop signs
  • Do not use a bike light at night
  • Do not yield to pedestrians
  • Cover both ears with headphones/earbuds
  • Bike while under the influence

Other important bike safety tips:

  • When passing someone, check over your shoulder, pass on the LEFT and call out when you are passing.
  • If you are locking your bike to a post that another bike is locked to, make sure the owner of the other bike will be able to get out by ensuring that your lock is not intertwined with their lock or, worse, their bike. (This might not seem like a safety tip, but especially as finals season approaches, you might want to avoid upsetting your fellow stressed and likely heavily-caffeinated peers.) 
  • If these safety tips fail you and you are biking towards someone and about to crash, go to your RIGHT (not your left).
  • Finally, WEAR A HELMET!

With all the new bikers on campus and the rainy season approaching, bike competence is essential — for yourself and everyone around you.

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Jackie Liu ‘25 is a Campus Life writer for the News section. Contact her at news 'at' stanforddaily.com.
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Contact Oriana at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.