Gear up for May rides: Your guide to National Bike Month

(04/26/24) BATON ROUGE, La. — As May blooms, so does the spirit of National Bike Month. Throughout your community, you've likely seen neighbors, friends and family enjoying the warmer weather and fresh air by riding their bikes. Perhaps you've even considered joining them but hesitated due to concerns about safety and infrastructure.

A cornerstone of a thriving community includes ensuring that streets and sidewalks support safe and accessible transportation for everyone, including pedestrians, bicyclists and people with disabilities. Reflecting on the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission's most recent statistics — 44 bicycle fatalities and 558 injuries in 2022 — it's clear that improving infrastructure to support bicycle safety is important in Louisiana.

“Although most Louisiana communities lack protected bike lanes, low-traffic neighborhood streets are a great option for family bike adventures,” suggests Jessica Stroope, physical activity specialist for the LSU AgCenter Healthy Communities program, who bikes to work every day. “I bike to work because it is an easy way for me to be active and because it’s fun.”

AgCenter Healthy Communities coalitions across the state are actively engaged in initiatives to improve streets and sidewalks, fostering environments where biking can be a safe and practical mode of transportation. You can do your part by being a responsible and attentive road user whether you’re in a car, on foot, on a bike or in a wheelchair.

Before embarking on your biking adventures this month, prioritize safety by following these tips:

Dress appropriately. Wear securely fastened shoes and a helmet for added protection.

Make yourself visible. Use reflectors or lights in low-visibility conditions like dusk and dawn. Assume motorists can’t see you.

Stay attentive. While enjoying music on the go is delightful, ensure you can hear traffic by leaving an earbud out or using a portable speaker.

Share the road. Ride on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic. If you are driving a vehicle, leave at least 3 feet of space when passing bicycles.

Be predictable. Use standardized bike hand signals to indicate turns.

To learn more about what your local Healthy Communities coalition is doing to promote walking and biking in your area, contact your AgCenter Nutrition and Community Health agent. If you're interested in contributing to these efforts, consider joining a Healthy Communities coalition near you through the Find Your Coalition tool at

Woman and girl standing near bike.

Jessica Stroope and daughter Violet gearing up for a neighborhood bike ride. Photo provided by Ed Cullen

4/25/2024 4:17:51 PM
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