To bicyclists across the nation, this month for you! May is National Bike Month. We have been celebrating this occasion since 1956, courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists. Everyone is trying to help to ensure road safety. We may have different reasons for pumping those pedals, but we are all united in our desire to make roads safe for everyone using them and to decrease bicycle accidents.
The National Bike Month is observed not just to increase awareness on the benefits that bicycling offers, but also to share knowledge on cycling safety tips. Louisville has been working on becoming more bike friendly. It has built more bike lanes, created a public bike-sharing program and has multiple bicycle awareness campaigns. Louisville isn't the only city or organization that is creating bike awareness campaigns, so is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA launched the “Be a Roll Model” campaign in time for the 2014 Bicycle Safety Month. The program aimed to encourage everyone to model safe behavior, especially those who cycle.
Bike safety tips
Riding a bike is both fun and rewarding, but it can be dangerous. It can be dangerous because cars and other vehicles can have a hard time seeing cyclists. Don't let this discourage you from riding your bike on the road. In honor of Bicycle Safety Month, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when you go for a ride:
- Always wear a helmet and other safety gear.
- Have working front and rear lights on your bike.
- Know the laws for biking in your area. For example, it's illegal for anyone over 11-years-old to operate a bicycle on any sidewalk in Louisville Metro. Also, no one of any age is allowed to ride on the sidewalk downtown.
- When you're going for a bicycle ride, it's important that you wear bright colors so drivers can see you.
- Be predictable so others around you know what you are about to do, like making a turn.
- Use hand signals to indicate when you are about to turn or stop.
- Always ride with traffic. Bikes are considered vehicles, and that means they must obey the same rules that cars do.
These are just some of the tips we should keep in mind when we're going for a bike ride. If we focus on safety, we can help prevent bike accidents. After all, that is what National Bike month is all about. Keep practicing safe biking habits, and enjoy your bike rides.