Spring is here, and the season brings many hallmark events, including bikes reappearing on sidewalks and roadways.
In this regard, May 18 is National Bike to Work Day. Area riders will assemble at the Bike Surgeon in O’Fallon around 6:45 a.m. for a 7 a.m. departure to Scott Air Force Base.
May is National Bicycle Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling—and encourage more people to giving cycling a try.
In this regard, May 18 is National Bike to Work Day. Area riders will assemble at the Bike Surgeon in O’Fallon around 6:45 a.m. for a 7 a.m. departure to Scott Air Force Base. A return ride will assemble at the Heritage Air Park at 4:30 p.m. to ride back to O’Fallon.
All in all, bicycling is a great way to get exercise. Whether people ride to the park, to the ice cream shop, or use their bicycle to commute to/from work, they’re promoting a healthier lifestyle and taking one more vehicle off our congested roads.
Because summertime brings more bicycles around neighborhoods and on the roadways, it’s worth some time to review what to do and not do.
▪ Need the standard array of gear when they ride around the base—helmet, reflectors on both wheels as well as front and rear, lights (at night), and easy-to-see clothing;
▪ While bicyclists can ride on sidewalks in the housing area, they cannot ride on sidewalks in the base’s “business district” (i.e. non-housing areas);
▪ If riding on a sidewalk, yield to pedestrians (they have the right of way), and go slow at intersections to be certain it’s safe to cross; and
▪ People riding on the road have the same right as a motor vehicle. It’s imperative to obey traffic signs and signals, and use hand signals to indicate turns and stops.
Be aware, when riding in a group, the individuals do not take up the whole driving lane; in turn, ride single file whenever possible.
In Illinois, drivers have certain responsibilities toward bicyclists:
▪ When passing a bicycle, allow a minimum of three feet between the vehicle and the bicycle. Pass at a safe speed. If towing a trailer while passing a bicycle, people must ensure the trailer is clear of the bicycle before pulling back into their lane;
▪ When passing, don’t put oncoming traffic in jeopardy simply to pass the bicycle; wait for an adequate break that allows for completing the pass;
▪ Know that a bicycle rider will generally ride as far to the right side of the road as is safely possible, but road conditions may warrant the rider having to ride further away from the right side of the road; and
▪ When parked along a roadway and about to exit the vehicle, employ what’s called the Dutch Reach—opening the car door using your opposite hand. This way, people are in a position to see bicyclists and other drivers before they open their door.
Whether pursuing bicycle riding for a family outing, an avenue for low-impact recreation, or a means of transportation, it’s never too late to start.