Riding Tips

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Philly’s flat terrain and gridded streets makes it a great city to ride a bike (the New York Times agrees!). Whether you’ve been cycling for years or this is your first time on a bike since middle school, taking these few steps will help make your Indego experience even better.

Before your ride:

Bring a helmet

You should always wear a helmet when riding an Indego bike. Make sure to bring one with you when you know you’re heading out for a ride. Don’t have a helmet? Show your Indego Key at these participating retailers and get 10% off your helmet purchase!

Check your bike

Indego crews regularly check each bike to make sure it is ready to ride, but you should always give a bike a once-over before hopping on. If you find any issues with the bike, contact customer service immediately, and select a different bike to ride.

  • Seat: Indego bike seats are easily adjustable. Just open the clamp on the seat post, lower or raise your seat, and close the clamp again. After you have found the right seat height, check the number on the side of the seat post for quick reference and remember it for your next trip. Make sure the seat is straight and doesn’t move. Most people prefer their seat to be high enough so they can straighten their legs while pedaling.
  • Air: Make sure each tire is fully inflated by pressing down on it. If it flattens under pressure, select another bike.
  • Brakes: Make sure the brake cables are working properly by pressing each lever next to the handlebars. If you don’t feel any resistance, select a different bike.
  • Wheels: Give each wheel a spin to check that it does not catch against anything.

Plan your route

Philadelphia has plenty of options for riding depending on your comfort level, from trails and paths to bike lanes and shared traffic lanes. Knowing the best route to take ahead of time often makes a bicycle trip easier. You can look up route ideas in several ways:

During your ride:

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Follow the rules:

  • Never ride against traffic. You don’t want to be a salmon swimming upstream!
  • Walk your bike on the sidewalk. It’s called a sideWALK, not a sideRIDE.
  • Obey traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs.
    The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has a comprehensive list of biking laws in Philly and in Pennsylvania.
  • Only one person per bike. The rack on the back of your Indego bike is for bags, not butts!

Make it easy for drivers and pedestrians to know your next move:

  • Don’t weave in and out of traffic. It’s always safer to ride in a straight line.
  • Signal your next move. If you are turning, point in the direction you are going. This helps cars and other cyclists understand your intentions.
  • Use bike lanes where available, unless you are turning or it’s unsafe to do so. If the street is too narrow for cars and bicycles to safely travel next to each other, you have the right to ride in the middle of the lane.
  • Ride four feet away from parked cars to avoid the “door zone.”

Pay attention and communicate:

  • Never ride with headphones; it’s important to hear what’s going on around you.
  • Always yield to pedestrians.
  • Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians before passing.
  • Always pass on the left. Use your bell or say “on your left” to let pedestrians and riders know you’re passing.

At the end of your ride:

  • When returning your Indego bike to a station, make sure it is securely locked. The dock will beep and a green light will indicate a successful return.
  • If you’ve had any issues with your bike during your ride, contact customer service.
  • If you have IndegoFlex or Indego30 pass, check your online profile to see data from your trip.