Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bicycle safety tips

We've been hearing more about bicycle fatalities recently.  An article in the StarTribune noted how just yesterday a 74 year-old biker was run over by a bus at an intersection in Winona, Minnesota.

To minimize the numbers of fatalities and injuries both motorist and bicyclers must be careful in their driving/biking habits.  Following are some tips.

1.  Look both ways at intersections, not just the direction of oncoming cars
2.  Give bikers room along the side of the road.  They have as much right to the road as you do.
3.  Start noticing bikers.  When you're just used to watching for cars, this requires looking carefully, especially at intersections, for those noiseless and much smaller two wheeled vehicles.

1.  Obey the same rules of the road for cars
2.  Learn and use hand signals when stopping and turning
3.  Wear a helmet and bright clothing to increase visibility
4.   If you're riding at night have a light for both the front and back of your bike and wear a reflective vest
5.  Ride defensively.  Verify that drivers see you before proceeding at intersections.  Remember, you are much more likely to notice them than they likely to see you.
6.  It is usually best to ride on the right hand side of the street, and leave the sidewalks for pedestrians.

Cuzin Rob on ride last fall
While bikers are almost always come out on the short end of accidents with cars, I hope that this danger doesn't frighten too many people from cycling.  Practicing safe riding habits will surely help. Following are a couple of reasons you might still prefer to ride, rather than drive...

                      The top is always down on a bicycle
                      Driving burns gas, biking burns fat

Safe and happy riding!

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