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Benefits of cycling
StreetSense: Bike Safety in Louisville

StreetSense: Bike Safety in Louisville

[music] I’m Kirby Adams,
and I am a cyclist. Cycling is a healthy
Green way to travel, and Louisville is
a beautiful city to ride. Learning some basic safety
tips will help to ensure that cyclists, motorists
and pedestrians, share the road safely. “A” is for air. Before you ride, make sure both
your tires are firm, not flat. Be sure there’s plenty of tread
and nothing stuck in your tires. You’ll find the correct pressure
printed on the side wall of your tires. “B” is for brakes. Check your brakes
before you ride. There should be at least
an inch between the lever and the handle when the brakes
are engaged. Also, spin your wheel to check
that the brake pads aren’t rubbing against the tire. “C” is for cranks
and drivetrain. Grab your pedals and try
to wiggle them. Be sure the crank arms
and pedals aren’t loose. Quick is for quick releases
which should be tight so your wheels won’t fall off
while you’re riding, and make sure the lever faces
to the back of the bike so debris can’t flip it open. Check it out is for taking your
bike on a quick little spin before you go
on your actual ride, that way you’ll know
everything’s working just fine. Once you know your equipment
is safe to ride, you’ll want to make sure you’re
safe while riding it. Always wear a helmet
and gloves to protect yourself in the event of a fall. Use clips or leg straps to keep
your pant legs free from the chain. Use both hands to ride,
carrying anything you need in a backpack or bike bags or strapped securely
to a carrier. As with any vehicle,
distracted driving is dangerous driving, so always stop before using
your cell phone and never operate a vehicle while
under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When planning your ride,
you’ll want to find the routes that may be less well traveled
and give you the best options for safety. These may not always be
the most direct route, but there is a new web site
that can help you out, it’s called,
and it will show you the safest routes
throughout the city. For example, if you’re trying
to get from Bardstown road to University of Louisville
and map the route on a popular mapping web site,
you’d likely be told to take Eastern Parkway,
but Eastern Parkway is a heavily traveled street. Using offers
a better suggestion, a route nearly as direct
but not as much traffic as Eastern Parkway. Once you’re out in the traffic,
you’ll want to follow the rules of the road. Predictability is
the key to safety. Some motorists get nervous when
they encounter cyclists because they aren’t used to
how cyclists will act. Remember, a bicycle
is a vehicle, and cyclists need to obey
traffic signals and signs like any
other vehicle. Always ride with traffic. Riding the wrong way
on the street makes you less visible
to motorists, it interferes with legally
riding cyclists and pedestrians and inhibits your ability
to see traffic signals. Like wrong-way riding,
riding on sidewalks makes you less visible and more likely
to collide with other vehicles at driveways
and intersections. And for anyone over the age
of eleven, riding on the sidewalk
isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal. Lane positioning
is also important. You should always stay as far
to the right of the lane as possible, without putting
yourself in danger from roadside debris,
drainage grates and of unexpectedly
opening car doors. Try to keep 3 feet between
you and any parked cars. Ride with visibility in mind. If you hug the curb, motorists
might not pay attention to you. It’s best to ride where
the right tire of the car would normally be, yielding
to overtaking traffic where it doesn’t endanger you. When riding in a group,
ride no more than two abreast in case you need to abruptly
change lane position. When approaching
an intersection, use the right-hand side
of the right lane when intending to turn right. Use the center right lane when
intending to continue straight. This discourages motorists
from passing and turning in front of you. And don’t ride
on the right-hand side of any right-turning motorist. Use the left lane,
or the left side of the lane if only one lane is available,
when you intend to turn left. Signal your intentions
to other motorists and be courteous
to fellow travelers. Don’t pass on the right-hand
side to get to the head of the line at a traffic light
just because your bike is smaller and narrower
than a car. Make eye contact
whenever possible and always use
your hand signals when you intend to turn. Nighttime riding presents
unique challenges, visibility is your most
important consideration. If you or your bike aren’t
visible to motorists, a driver may not see you
until it’s too late to avoid a collision. Kentucky law requires
anyone cycling at night to use a front light, a steady
or flashing right rear light and in certain circumstances,
a red rear reflector. And be sure your lights
are visible. Don’t let your clothes
or anything else obstruct them. To be really safe,
wear a reflective outfit and use more than
a single rear light. You cannot make yourself
too visible. And keep visibility in mind when
choosing your bike’s headlight. You want a light that will not
only help you see in the dark, but one that is conspicuous
to oncoming motorists as well. These are just a few
general rules to keep cycling fun and safe. For more information, visit
the bike Louisville page on the LouisvilleKY.GOV
web site. There you’ll find the state
regulations regarding cycling as well as more advanced
safety tips and links to local bike communities,
shops and events. You should also visit
the streetsense web site to sign up for cycling classes
or to use the ride Louisville
mapping tool. Cycling can and should be fun,
so get out there and enjoy your city
and I’ll see you on the road. [music] Be on the lookout for
the Louisville bike map offering the most popular
bike routes and trails throughout the city. Available at local bike stores
and other locations.

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