June is Colorado Bike Month, and communities across the state are encouraging people to ditch their cars and bike to work. In Mesa County, if you sign up and log your biking miles during the month (all while wearing a helmet) you can be eligible for a prize if you log the most biked miles, KJCT said in a news video appearing on 8ABC.
To inspire children to ride their bikes, the Mesa County Library system is having a promotion as well, saying that kids who ride their bikes, wearing a helmet, to any library branch on 10 different days during June will get one free admission to a local swimming pool. Katie Goddeyne of the Mesa County Health Department offered another big motivator:
If you are a kid and you are out there biking with your helmet on, following the rules, and using your hand signals, a police officer may see you and give you a coupon for a free ice cream cone.
Goddeyne also said:
It’s our hope that Colorado bike month will get some people out on their bikes, making that change as far as utilizing their bikes for transportation. It’s great for your health, it’s great for the environment, and it’s a lot of fun.
Business Bike to Work Day
Colorado is taking part in a nationwide effort to encourage both newcomers to bicycling and experienced cyclists to participate in “the fun and freedom of safely riding a bike to work, school, errands and recreation.”
Among the many events scheduled statewide during the month, a highlight is the June 22 Business Bike to Work Day. Grand Valley businesses whose employees log the most miles biked to work will win the traveling trophy.
The number of people who ride to work on their bicycles on Bike to Work day has been on the increase since 1995, a trend CDOT expects to continue this year.
And because safety is of the utmost importance, the state has many resources available on its bicycle safety page. One of those is a page of safety tips from Colorado Bike Law, which suggests that bicyclists:
- Ride in the direction of vehicular traffic, never against it
- Ride in the right lane, unless you are passing a vehicle or getting ready to make a left turn, or avoiding hazards on the road
- Always ride in bike lanes or paved road shoulders as long as they are free of obstructions and hazards
- Never ride more than two bicycles abreast, and do not ride next to another bicyclist if that would get in the way of vehicle traffic
- To avoid bicycle accidents, always ride single-file on curving canyon roads without bike lanes or road shoulders
- Always obey traffic laws, signs, and signals
- Use hand signals to indicate that you will be making a left or right turn, or that you are slowing or stopping
- When it is dark out use a headlight, a tail light, and reflectors (and wear some light colored or reflective clothing to increase visibility)
- Make eye contact with drivers
- Be extra cautious: never assume that motorists see you, or that you have the right of way
- Wear passive safety equipment to stay safe, including a helmet, glasses, and gloves
- Always expect the unexpected
That same web site suggests other tips when bicyclists are riding on multi-use trails, including:
- Ring your bike bell and call out ‘passing’ in a loud voice when you are about to pass other trail users
- Avoid wearing headphones, which can prevent you from hearing warnings
- Don’t stop on the trail, which can block other trail users
- Ride single file to leave room for others
- Watch for the unexpected, such as children and pets
- Use hand signals to indicate when you are turning or stopping
- Pass on the left when the trail is free of traffic
- Ride at safe speeds that are appropriate for trail conditions, and slow down when there is traffic — whether pedestrian or other — on the trail
Image by Shannon Fagan/123RF.