National Bike Month celebrated throughout May
Chapel Hill (May 9, 2008) — May is National Bike Month and holds many opportunities to promote bicycle use and safety. Marking its 48th year, the event is timed to coincide with the arrival of warmer weather.
Coordinated by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month will be celebrated with various activities around the nation, including Bike-to-Work Week from May 12 to 16. Bike-to-Work Day, a day to encourage folks to forsake their motor vehicles for the day and bicycle to work, will take place on Friday, May 16. The month has inspired countless bike rides, safety inspections, commuter challenges, ribbon-cuttings, "share the road" promotions and other varied celebrations of bicycling in communities across the nation.
"This is a great opportunity to take more interest in bicycling and challenge ourselves to take part in an activity that can encourage sizable benefits such as improved health and reduced air pollution," said Charlie Zegeer, director, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC). "Through our redesigned Web site for bicycling, the PBIC serves as a great resource for those looking to explore a host of subjects surrounding bicycling."
As part of the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC), PBIC provides information on walking and bicycling through a variety of resources on the Web, such as design & engineering insights, enforcement & education programs, crash data, and tools like the "Bikeability Checklist" that can help determine if a community is bikeable.
An additional component of HRSC is the National Center for Safe Routes to School (NCSRTS), which assists communities in enabling and encouraging children to safely walk and bike to school. Through the Web site, individuals or groups can access a variety of tools including the SRTS Guide, a comprehensive resource for issues relating to safely walking or biking to school.
To reflect on National Bike Week, PBIC and NCSRTS offer the following tips when bicycling:
- Dress appropriately. Wear brightly colored, close-fitting clothing. Tie your shoes and secure long laces and loose pant legs. Do not wear headphones.
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Ride a bicycle that fits. When seated on the bicycle, both feet should be firmly planted on the ground and hands should reach the handlebars.
- Do not carry anyone else on the bicycle. A bicycle with one seat is a bicycle for one person.
- If riding when it is dark, use headlights, taillights and reflectors, and wear bright clothing with reflective material.
- Follow all traffic laws, including:
- If riding in the street, ride in the same direction as motor vehicles, on the right hand side of the street, about two or three feet from the edge.
- Use hand signals when turning and stopping.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
More information on biking and pedestrian issues can be found at www.bicyclinginfo.org and www.saferoutesinfo.org. For more information on the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, please visit www.hsrc.unc.edu.
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UNC Highway Safety Research Center contact: Jennifer Bonchak (919) 843-4859