Biking safety tips

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This weekend some friends and I set out on an adventure to ride in a fundraiser called Race of the Dead near New Orleans.
With the bikes loaded up and well on our way, a half hour later than we planned, we arrived just before the launch to come into contact with a less than pleasant race director.
The problem was we arrived after registration had closed, which entailed a time not listed on the event’s facebook page. Our inability to register was a combination of lateness on our part, and their failure to provide adequate information on the event’s page.
Turned away from the race, which was supposed to raise money for a friend with cancer, we decided to create our own adventure by biking through the streets of New Orleans.
Since we were prepared for a trek through dark woods we were already equipped with helmets and lights, so we were also prepared for NOLA’s dark streets.
As we trekked through the intersections of the major metropolis, I thought about some stories I wrote in the past about bicyclists being hit while riding along county roads or state highways.
Mississippi has a law that motorists are to keep three feet of distance while passing a bicyclist. Many drivers may become agitated that they have to slow down for a bicycle rider, but they have just as much right to use the roads as the people in cars.
With that in mind here are some safety tips.
Just like with motorcycles, motorists should watch for bicycles merging into their path of traffic. Additionally they should ensure there is enough space between the vehicle and the bicycle, which is at least three feet, while passing.
And finally, bicyclists should wear proper safety gear, especially a helmet, reflective clothing and a light while biking at night.

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