If you're new to clipless pedals, practice clipping in and out in a field (or somewhere else away from traffic) before you hit the streets. To clip into your bike, straddle the frame and rotate the pedals so one is 45 degrees forward. Put your less dominant foot on that pedal and press down hard as you raise yourself over the saddle. Then quickly place your other foot in its pedal and clip in on that side as you start pedaling. To release, simply twist one heel out to the side and put that foot down as you come to a stop, says Bernhardt.
Use both hand brakes to slow down. Using only the rear brake will not slow you down quickly, and using only the front brake could cause you to fly over the handlebars. If you're going too fast downhill, instead of slamming on your brakes, try sitting taller to catch more air and slow down naturally first.
Ride in the same direction as cars.
If you're traveling on a city street at the same speed as traffic, ride in the middle of the lane; when traffic speeds up, move to the right shoulder.
No bike lane? Ride at least three feet out from parked cars to avoid being hit by opening doors, says Paul Dorn, coauthor of The Bike to Work Guide.
Obey traffic signals, as if you were in a car.
Signal all turns and stops with your left arm. To signal a left turn, hold your left arm straight out to the side at shoulder level. For a right turn, hold your right arm out with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your hand pointing up (as if you're taking the oath of office). To signal a stop, hold your arm out with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your hand down.