People all over the country are taking part in this event. Communities all over central Florida have put their spin on this event as the community of Bartow will be sponsoring its own National Bike to Work Day this Friday, May 16th.
Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month has been going strong since 1956. But what does it all mean? For many, it’s an opportunity to put away the car keys and dust off the old bike, at least for a month anyway. Saving on gas and getting healthy simultaneously is a good deal for anyone. It’s also a way to lessen the carbon emissions cars release into the atmosphere daily. It’s a win-win for everyone.
And although the concept of riding your bike for a month seems promising, there are still things to remember. Like anything else, there are always laws to consider, and each varies from state to state. To know the laws of your state concerning bicyclists, you can visit bikeleague.org and click the bike laws link.
But here are a few things to remember: remember that as a bicyclist, you are not alone on the road and often are close to a moving vehicle. Some states have designated areas marked for bike riders. Others do not. It is important to always ride in the same direction of traffic. Helmets are only required for people under the age of 16 years, but it is always a good idea to wear one safety first.
When riding at night, ensure your bike has rear lights and that you wear bright clothing so you are seen by oncoming traffic. Always consider your surroundings, and don’t assume that the driver in the vehicle sees you as if you could be in their blind spot. Take caution anytime you are on the road.
For those operating a vehicle alongside a bicyclist, remember that they are considered pedestrians and typically have the right of way. For anyone using a motor vehicle, paying attention to your surroundings is the key to avoiding an accident with a bicyclist or anyone for that fact. Always check twice to make sure the bicyclist is not in your blind spot, and always drive with caution.
Whether in your car or on your bike, remember that the road is shared by many… be safe!
Don Westerfeld has been active in the field of Insurance and Financial Planning since 1997. Don grew up in Indiana later moving to Lakeland Florida where he continues to reside with his wife and children. When he’s not in the office you can find him enjoying the great outdoors. He has served on several charitable business and non-profit organizations and continues to provide guidance, advice and support to local charities.
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