Local cyclist and Ride of Silence coordinator, Jim, has written an excellent Letter to the Editor of our local paper. First, I want to say how great it is to see so much about cycling surfacing in our paper. Second, I want to urge everyone in Lenawee County who owns a bicycle to participate in the Ride of Silence on May 19.
I encourage you to post a comment on lenconnect showing your support and, if possible, pledging to be at the Ride of Silence and/or to take part in Bike to Work day on Friday, May 21.
May is national Bike Month, Two especially important events this month are the Ride of Silence on May 19 and Bike to Work Day on May 21. These events occasion several observations. Many cyclists follow the “rules of the road” and are kindly accommodated by drivers on the shared roadway. There are cyclists who, not aware of protocol, put themselves at risk and raise the ire of drivers. There are drivers unfamiliar with cyclists’ rights who get frustrated and angry when a bike is on “their” roadway. Clearly there is a need for further education for cyclists and drivers alike. Please understand that cyclists have a legal right to be on our public roads. Cyclists are to ride as far to the right as they feel is safe. Although a driver may expect the cyclist to be on the shoulder, we see hazards that you can’t. The law requires bikes to be on the pavement. We are not allowed on sidewalks as they are for pedestrian use. Granted, our local roadways have a way to go in order to be considered “bike friendly.” There are a few stretches of public roadway with shoulders wide enough for bikes to use, yet we continually see cyclists riding against traffic. Tragedies occur because of both driver and cyclist errors. A 40-pound bike is no match for tons of metal. But let’s not blame; let’s educate! These accidents are avoidable. The League of Michigan Bicyclists has a free publication for download (“What Every MI Bicyclist Should Know”). Every individual who rides a bicycle or operates a motor vehicle should read this. Be educated, be aware, be considerate, and please share the road. All cyclists who wish to honor riders who have been injured or killed while cycling are invited to join the Lenawee County Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 19. This commemorative ride is international in its scope, with rides held in over 20 countries and on all seven continents. Our local ride will gather behind the Adrian city Library in the Croswell lot by 6:45pm and ride at 7pm. Helmets are mandatory. This one-hour ride is an opportunity to do your part to advance bicycling safety and awareness in our communities until cycling lanes or paths are available.