Login

Waves to Wine Rider Safety Banner

Safety Starts With You!

Welcome to the Bike MS: Waves to Wine Ride Safety page, dedicated to providing our bike tour participants with a safe, enjoyable cycling adventure from San Francisco to Sonoma County.

Get safety certified and take our quiz!

As a participant in the Bike MS: Waves to Wine ride, you not only represent yourself and your team, but the National MS Society and the cycling community as well. Please exhibit safe and responsible riding behavior, so we can continue to enjoy Waves to Wine for years to come!

We encourage you to review the compiled safety information. It will help you prepare for Waves to Wine and will guide you during the ride.

Please be aware that we ride on numerous country highways without shoulders. Please be especially careful on those roads (Highway 1 and Chileno Valley Road) and follow the rules of the road. Please make sure you are single file and ride safe.

Watch the Bike MS: Waves to Wine Ride Cycling Video

Rules of the Road Riding in a Group  Bike Signals and Lingo
Choosing the Rights Helmet Stay Safe While You Train NHTSA Cycling Safety Video

Rules of the Road

The Bike MS: Waves to Wine Ride is NOT a race and is conducted on open roads. Motor vehicle traffic is present throughout the course at all times.

Bicycle Bullet

HELMETS ARE MANDATORY (ANSI/SNELL APPROVED).

Bicycle Bullet

Ride one or two across only. Stay as far to the right of the road as is safely possible.

Bicycle Bullet

Take a full lane when safety dictates. Pull off to let traffic pass when necessary.

Bicycle Bullet

Ride WITH traffic not against it.

Bicycle Bullet

Consuming alcohol or recreational drugs on training rides or on the Bike MS: Waves to Wine Ride course is strictly prohibited.  Read V C Section 21200.5 Riding Bicycle Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs for more information.

Bicycle Bullet

Make eye contact with drivers so you know they have seen you.

Bicycle Bullet

Obey all traffic laws and signals. ALWAYS stop at stop signs. Your bicycle is legally considered a vehicle.

Bicycle Bullet

Do not wear headphones.

Learn more about riding safely and legally on public roads by visiting the California Department of Transportation’s Bicycle Codes and Laws webpage.

Riding in a Group 

Bicycle Bullet

Be Predictable: Group riding requires even more attention to predictability than riding alone. Call out stops and changes in direction to other riders

Bicycle Bullet

Know your limits. Crashes can occur when inexperienced cyclists do not have the bike-handling skills to make quick decisions in a pack.

Bicycle Bullet

Pass on the left side only.

Bicycle Bullet

Communicate with your fellow riders using proper cycling terms such as "on your left," "car back," “stopping,” etc. or use hand signals.

Bicycle Bullet

Announce hazards. When riding in a group, most of the cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead. Alert others to road hazards by pointing down to left or right and by calling out.<

Bicycle Bullet

Maintain control and speed of your bike, even going downhill.

Bicycle Bullet

Never overlap your wheels with another cyclist.

Bicycle Bullet

Do not use aerobars in a pack.

Bicycle Bullet

Courtesy is key! Be respectful of other riders and help others when needed.

For more tips, view the League the of American Bicyclists Group Riding Brochure

Bike Signals and Lingo

The following signs and signals are the universal language of cycling. Your safety and the safety of those around you depend on good communication.

Hand Signals:

  • Left Turn: Left arm straight out
  • Right Turn: Right arm straight out, or left arm straight out and bent up
  • Stopping: Left arm out and bent down with your palm facing the rear Hazard: Point down on the appropriate side of your bike and call out the hazard (e.g. “gravel!”, “grate!”, “glass!” or “bump!”)
  • For more details and visualization of these signals, view samples of safe bike communication.

Verbal Signals:

  • “Car Up”: There’s an oncoming vehicle
  • “Car Back”: There’s a car approaching from behind you
  • “On Your Left”: You’re passing a cyclist on his/her left-hand side, or a cyclist is passing you on your left-hand side
  • Read “Ride Safe Language” to learn more about ways to communicate with your fellow riders on the route.

Choosing the Right Helmet

To participate in the Bike MS: Waves to Wine Ride, you must wear a helmet. When buying a helmet, it's important to Choose the Right Helmet. For more information, check out the Bike Helmet Safety Institute.

Stay safe while you train

Safety isn't just important while on the Ride. Learn how to stay safe while you train, too.

Bike Safe offers information on how to not get hit while riding and other important lessons while riding a bike.

Read about bike maintenance.

NHTSA Cycling Safety Video