Remember that safety should always be first! Know the Bicycle Rules of the Road. Be a defensive rider, and always wear a helmet, even for short trips! See our page on Safety & Security for more helpful hints.
Gear, Clothing, Safety
You don’t need much to start: a bicycle, helmet, a lock and lights for evening riding - see Gearing Up for more information and where to buy gear and how to get a UIC discount.
While you do not need special clothing to ride, there are some things you may want to keep in mind:
- If your pants have wide legs, roll up your pants or use a pant-leg band to prevent your pants from catching in the chain.
- Avoid riding while wearing long skirts or clothing with trailing/loose fabric - this will prevent clothing from being caught in the spokes.
- If you are carrying a backpack, remember to tuck in any loose straps for the same reason.
- Your body is a remarkable heat machine. It will heat up quickly after only a few minutes of riding. You may find that wearing layers that you can remove or dressing a few degrees cooler than the outside temperature will help keep you comfortable. Clothing that wicks away moisture also helps.
- Most importantly, flat-soled, closed-toed shoes will keep your feet protected.
Urban Bicycling / Getting Around Campus
It may seem scary to bike in traffic, but it is actually safe if done properly.
The two most important things you can do to prevent getting into a bike crash are to be visible and predictable. The more the other traffic can see you and predict what you're going to do next, the easier and safer your commute will be.
According to the Active Transportation Alliance, motorists do not usually strike bicyclists from behind. The majority of accidents happen on off-street paths where pedestrians, roller-bladers, pets and children are present in higher numbers. With that said, it’s still important to follow traffic and obey the same laws as motorists while you ride. Active Trans offers some great tips on how to bike through traffic.
Bicycle racing information
If you’re looking to get involved with racing, look no further than UIC’s Cycling and Triathlon Team. Find like-minded friends, or if you’re new to racing, come to a meeting and join a group workout to stay motivated.