ORGANIZERS of Bike to Work Week May 28-June 3 are expecting a big increase in two-wheeled traffic on local roads next week.
“We’ll have some crowded bike racks in Terrace next week,” says Amy Klepetar who sits on the Bike to Work Week organizing committee here.
“I’m so excited to see that we have nearly as many teams registered this year as the total number of riders we’ve had participate in the past,” added Klepetar, an assistant professor at the University of Northern BC’s nursing school in Terrace.
As of late last week, 25 local teams had been registered at the www.biketowork.ca website.
“I hope the enthusiasm for riding will continue throughout the year,” added Klepetar.
In preparation, ICBC is promoting five safety tips for cyclists.
No. 1 – Brighten up: Bicycles can be hard for other road users to spot in the mix of busy traffic so cyclists need to be as visible as possible. Bright, reflective clothing is the best option for the rider, while the bicycle itself needs to have lights.
If you ride at night, your bicycle must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres, and have a rear red light and a red rear reflector. Even if you are doing all of these things, never assume you have been seen by a vehicle.
No. 2 – Don’t rush: Remember to stop and look in all directions before cycling out of an intersection, driveway or lane. The majority of all children’s cycling crashes are caused by the child riding out onto a roadway without looking.
Cyclists need to ensure they follow the rules of the road. Just like any other vehicle, you need to obey stop signs and other traffic control devices and enforcement.
No. 3 – Start at the top: Always wear an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards – it’s the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one.
Bike helmets alone could prevent up to 85 per cent of serious injuries, which account for 80 percent of all bicycle-related deaths. Look for a helmet that is approved by a recognized body such as Snell.
More important than who made the helmet is how it fits. It should be snug, but not uncomfortable, and should not be able to roll off of your head when the chin strap is secured.
No. 4 – Get well positioned: Position yourself so other road users can easily see you – don’t weave in and out of traffic. Importantly, ensure you always avoid riding in blind spots of other road users. Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road and in single file.
No. 5 – Be defensive: While it is fine to ride in an assertive manner, cyclists need to think and look well ahead – remember, a conflict between a bicycle and a motor vehicle usually results in injury to the cyclist.
Pay particular attention for vehicles turning at intersections, and slow down and take it easy on the curves.