Staying Safe for National Bike Month

May is here which means it’s time to grab your bike and get rolling for National Bike Month! It’s likely that you have seen your friends, family, and local residents riding their bikes to get a breath of fresh air in their neighborhoods. Some may have even begun to use walking or biking as a primary form of transportation! Have you second guessed taking your bike out for a ride around your neighborhood? Take a look around your block – whether you realize it or not, sidewalk quality or access, traffic, and many other factors influence your desire to hit the road. In 2020, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reported 34 bicycle fatalities and 573 injuries. These numbers demonstrate a dire need for infrastructure that supports cyclists across the state. A major part a healthy community is making sure that those streets and sidewalks are able to accommodate the needs of people walking and biking.

While your local Healthy Communities coalition is working to help make improvements to streets and sidewalks that make it easier for you to take your bicycle out for a spin, it’s important for you and your loved ones to know about bike safety before you hit the road! When you bike, you should wear proper attire including shoes that can be securely fastened. You always want to be sure you communicate your whereabouts with a loved one. We all love to listen to our favorite songs when we are on the go but when biking, you should make sure you can hear traffic. Consider leaving an earbud out or using a portable speaker. Be sure to use sidewalks and residential roads when possible and of course when you are in your car and you see cyclists out and about, be sure the share the road (or even these tips):

  • Ride your bike on the right side of the road with traffic.
  • Wear a helmet if available.
  • Pass people walking on the left and leave plenty of space – at least 6 feet for proper social distancing!
  • Be predictable! Memorize and use bike hand signals.
  • In the evening, use reflectors or lights to ensure you're visible to motorists, but always assume no one sees you.

To see what your local Healthy Communities coalition is doing to help encourage walking and biking in your area, contact your local LSU AgCenter extension office. For more tips and guides on physical activity, please visit www.lsuagcenter.com/healthycommunities.

8/15/2022 7:18:41 PM
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