Rules of the road

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 2, 2014

May is National Bike Month — an event widely celebrated as a means to promote cycling and it’s many benefits.

Bicycling plays an important role in the community, as it creates camaraderie when we’re pumping those pedals with others. Plus, it is beneficial to heart health, increases brainpower, boosts metabolism, and is an efficient and eco-friendly means of transportation.

Whether pedaling to stay fit or sustain the environment, Bike Month is the perfect time for young and old to celebrate the many reasons we ride. Bike Month was established in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists and provides ample opportunity to share the role and influence of bicycles in our lives, additionally encouraging any and everyone to give it a try.

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When riding, wear your helmet and always obey the rules of the road. Bicyclists are expected to observe traffic laws and acknowledge both stop signs and red lights. Never ride against the flow of traffic. Mississippi requires bicyclists to “ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway” as long as it is reasonably safe. Vehicles should maintain at least 3 feet of distance from cyclists operating on roadways.

Communicate. Use a bell or horn to alert drivers or pedestrians when you’re approaching and use hand signals to avoid collisions when turning.

As a safety suggestion, adult cyclists should keep off the sidewalks.

Bikes should be equipped with white front lights and red back lights, plus reflective tape in order to increase visibility at night, on cloudy days and in the fog. Riders should be aware of their clothing when cycling in less than visible conditions.

Wanting to get involved with National Bike Month this May?

Look into these great events. National Bike to Work Week is May 12th-16th and CycloFemme — a socially-driven grass-roots celebration of women on bikes — is this Mother’s Day on May 11th. You can sign up for a ride or create your own at