Share the road
Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition recently launched a multimedia education campaign to promote safe bicycling for Tahoe visitors and residents.
“We hope these safety tips help ensure people enjoy riding their bicycles at Lake Tahoe,” said Curtis Fong, vice president of Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition. “This is the greatest and most beautiful place in the world to ride a bike, and we want to help make sure that bicyclists are aware of safe riding practices when bicycling on roadways or bike paths around Lake Tahoe.”
The Bike Coalition’s safety campaign includes tips for people riding bicycles on Tahoe’s roads and separated paths. A full list of tips and helpful videos is available at tahoebike.org/bike-safety.
Key tips include biking in the same direction as traffic, using lights, reflectors and bright clothing to be visible to drivers, passing on the left when on a multi-use path, using proper hand signals, and obeying traffic safety laws.
“Riding a bicycle is a great way to stay fit and healthy, and Lake Tahoe has miles and miles of beautiful bike paths and bike lanes and is being recognized as a high-altitude training and bicycling destination, but that doesn’t mean conflicts between bicyclists and motorists can’t happen,” Fong said. “We hope these simple tips will help provide bicyclists and motorists with safety information to help create a more bicycle-friendly community.”
In addition to tips for people riding bikes, the Safety Campaign includes advice for motorists, as well as details on a pilot program to install special electronic sign boards in key locations around Lake Tahoe roadways to remind motorists to watch for bicyclists, share the road and give bicyclists three feet when passing.
Here are 10 tips for biking at Lake Tahoe, from the coalition:
1. Keep your bike properly maintained: Before the beginning of a ride, make certain brakes and gears work properly and tires are inflated. Carry along a spare tire tube and patch kit, know how to use it, and have an air pump in the event of a flat tire.
2. Wear a helmet: It’s a great way to stay safe for anyone riding a bicycle, and in California it’s the law for anyone under 18.
3. Ride in the same direction as traffic flow: Riding against the traffic direction is not only illegal, it’s highly dangerous. Motorists are less likely to see a rider in time to avoid a collision, and a higher speed of any collision is more likely to cause serious or fatal injuries.
4. Stop at all stop signs and red traffic lights: A rider and bicycle are a vehicle with the same rights and responsibilities as an automobile. Obey all traffic laws.
5. Use proper hand signals when turning, stopping or changing lanes: This alerts other road users of intentions.
6. Ride in a straight line and single file: When riding a bike, we all want drivers to avoid hitting us. Help drivers predict location by riding in a straight line. Many roads do not have enough width to safely ride side by side, so ride single file and be safe.
7. Be seen: Use lights (white in front and red in back), reflectors, and reflective clothing during darkness. Both California and Nevada state law require lights and reflectors while bicycling at night. Be seen and be safe.
8. Ride to the right if moving slower than other traffic: Do this unless turning left, passing another bicycle or vehicle, or avoiding hazards.
9. Do not impair senses: Wearing headphones on both ears or riding your bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts a biker and others are risk. People riding bikes are still subject to DUI citations.
10. Lastly: Walk the bike when using a crosswalk.
This article was provided by Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, a member-supported nonprofit with a mission to help Tahoe become more bicycle friendly. Visit http://www.tahoebike.org to learn more.
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