Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Top 5 Situations to Avoid When Cycling

Cycling is one of the safest ways to get from A to B. Not only do you reduce your environmental footprint, but it’s also a great form of exercise. Unfortunately, even the safest cyclist could be involved in a crash.  There’s no way to prevent a careless motorist, but there are some techniques you can utilize to reduce your chances of getting involved in a crash.

Situation #1: Getting Doored

This is one of the most dangerous situations for any cyclist, as there is very little time to react quickly enough to get out of the way of the motorist, and if you do swerve out of the way of a door, you may go into oncoming traffic. How can you avoid this?

You must ride at least 4’ away from any parked cars that you think may be opening their doors. If you can touch the car’s mirror, you’re too close. Obvious culprits include a line of parked cars and taxis, but you should also be cautious around any cars parked in the middle of the street with their hazards on. It’s likely they’re stopping to pick up or drop off a passenger.

Don’t be tempted to ring your bike’s bell when approaching cars. It does nothing. If a motorist hears it (they won’t), they still won’t realize that you’re behind the car in time. Fortunately, the law is on your site: In nearly every state, motorists have an obligation to check to make sure the coast is clear before opening their car doors. If you break a bone due to their carelessness, it’ll be paid for by their insurance.

Situation #2: Busses & Trucks

This isn’t a situation per se, but it’s something to look out for.  So, what can you do to avoid an incident with a bus? Never ride to the right of busses. They often pull to the side and make stops, so it’s easy for you to be sideswiped or forced onto the sidewalk, if you’re lucky.

Trucks and busses also have the issue of blind spots: They won’t see you approaching from the side as a motorist would. Finally: It’s not like our odds are great against cars, but a mash-up between a cyclist and a truck is even worse. Give them their space and stay far behind them to stay out of their blind spot.

Situation #3: The Left Cross

This collision occurs when you’re riding straight and a car turns left at an intersection. A cyclist is significantly smaller than a car, so motorists may not be as apt to see you as they would another vehicle. There are a few ways you can make yourself more visible to motorists so they won’t turn into you:

Dress appropriately and have the required reflectors and headlights on your bicycle at the very least. You can also add reflective stickers and decals to your helmet, which you should wear at all times!

Don’t pass anyone on the right. If you’re to the right of a car, another vehicle turning left will have no hope of seeing you.

Situation #4: Pedestrians

Much like trucks or busses, this is not a “situation,” itself, but pedestrians can cause a lot of trouble, especially if you live in a busy city. My commute home from work involves passing around 5,000 people, all trying to get to the major train station in the city. Pedestrians will peek out around a parked car, see there’s no other cars approaching, and step directly in front of me.

You should ride in the center of your lane whenever you’re in an area with heavy foot traffic. This way, if they “peek out” in front of cars, you won’t crash into them. If you do see someone stroll in front of you: Bells are a solid idea, and investing in a loud bell (such as a SpurCycle) may help you get your point across.

Situation #5: Potholes and Loose Gravel

As dangerous as motorists are, many crashes are caused by poor terrain or simply falling off your bike. Be sure to take note of your environment as you ride, which includes the ground as well as the other cars. Only ride roads you know well at night if you can, as it’ll be much harder to navigate. Finally, and it seems obvious, but you should only ride at a speed that’s safe for your ability. It’s possible to stay loose and ride through a monster pothole, but only if you’re riding at a safe speed.

A wealth of information, tips, and videos related to Smart Cycling can be found on the Ride Smart page on the League of American Bicyclists’ website.

 

This article was provided by www.personalinjury-law.com, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally.

UDOT Opens Active Transportation Safety Manager Position

From Bike Utah:

“UDOT recently opened this position that is primarily focused on Safe Routes to School, SNAP, and bicycle and pedestrian safety. If you know of anyone who would be a great fit for this position, please send it along to them. This is one of only four statewide people in Utah focused on AT so a great person in this position would be a huge help in moving things forward more quickly. Please share the posting. Deadline is January 3rd.”

Check out the description and apply here.

Utah Valley Hospital Encourages its Employees to Embrace Two Wheels

by Michelle Best, Regional Manager, Health Promotion & Wellness, Utah Valley Hospital

 

With a mission of “helping people live the healthiest lives possible,” Utah Valley Hospital has plenty of reasons to encourage caregivers (hospital employees) to embrace two wheels instead of four. During the summer of 2016, the hospital was designated as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists in recognition for its work to get more caregivers on bicycles. Here are some of the ways the hospital is promoting cycling:

Participating in Provo’s Bike to Work Day

The hospital hosted a breakfast station on 800 North as part of Provo’s Bike to Work Day in May 2017, and more than 55 cyclists from around the community showed up. The secret? Breakfast burritos! The hospital plans to host a breakfast station next year, and Intermountain Healthcare will be promoting National Bike to Work Month in May 2018.

Sponsoring a Cycling Club

In 2014, Utah Valley Hospital, in partnership with Intermountain Cancer Centers and the American Fork Canyon Run Against Cancer, started sponsoring veloLOVE Cycling Club. The club’s purpose is to promote physical activity through cycling by getting as many people on bikes as possible. Through the sponsorship, the club provides highly discounted kits, organizes weekly club rides for cyclists of all abilities, and participates in cycling events. In 2017, club members rode in events like LOTOJA (Logan to Jackson), the Cache Gran Fondo, FrontRunner Century, Leadville Trail 100 MTB, and Crusher in the Tushar. To join veloLOVE, you can sign up for the club’s email list at www.velolove.club.

Cycling Clinics

For the past two years, American Fork Hospital has hosted a free cycling clinic every spring. The clinic provides information about sports nutrition, bicycle maintenance, injury prevention, training, and bike fits.

Utah Valley Hospital Campus Plan & Bicycle Parking

When Utah Valley’s hospital replacement project is complete in 2019, there will be a bike path running east to west from the hospital’s main entrance to 940 North. This will provide convenient front door access to the facility. The hospital recently purchased 15 Cycle Docks and 12 double bike lockers to place near key hospital access points for caregivers, volunteers, and hospital visitors. By making bike parking more convenient than parking a car and by putting it in highly visible locations, the hospital hopes that more caregivers will begin commuting by bicycle to work. The hospital will also provide a repair station and bicycle pump on the north and south end of campus.

Spin Classes

To help caregivers stay active, particularly during the winter months, the new LiVe Well Center at Utah Valley Hospital (opening 2018) will feature free spin classes. The American Fork Hospital Wellness Center also provides free winter spin classes for caregivers and has started supporting off-season youth mountain bike training.

Incentives for Biking to Work

Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well incentive program allows caregivers to earn $50 per quarter by completing a wellness activity of their choice and watching two online wellness modules. Caregivers can bike to work for their wellness activity.

Utah Valley Hospital hopes to continue finding ways to encourage caregivers and visitors to ride their bikes to the hospital. With bicycle lanes coming in 2018 to Bulldog Boulevard (protected), 500 West (buffered), which both border the hospital campus, UVH will have bike lanes on all four sides of the campus (with the lanes on 800 North and University Avenue), making cycling safer and more convenient.

BYU Police Form Partnership with Provo Bicycle Collective

From BicycleCollective.org:

“Provo Bicycle Collective is proud to announce a newly-formed partnership with BYU police who will now donate bikes abandoned on BYU campus.  BYU Police joins Provo and Springville police departments in donating abandoned bikes to charity.

Each semester, between 200-300 bikes are bikes are left on BYU campus; 3-5% of all bikes on campus during warmer months.  BYU Police has agreed to donate these bikes to Provo Bicycle Collective who will refurbish and send the bikes back on the road; giving many away and selling others at low cost.

In 2016, Bicycle Collective’s statewide operations received 5,552 donated bicycles and sent 3,089 repaired bikes back into the community, giving away 1,609 to underprivileged individuals.

With increased donations, Provo Bicycle Collective hopes to increase its output, putting hundreds more bikes on the road and encouraging Provo citizens to drive cars less.”

Provo Bike Prom a Success

On the evening of October 27th, about 80 people gathered at the Provo Bicycle Collective to ride their bikes.  However, instead of dressing in casual clothing or athletic gear, this group decked themselves out in tuxedos and gowns.  It was Prom night in Provo; Bike Prom, that is!

Bike Prom is an annual fundraising event consisting of a casual ride around town and a dance.  All proceeds go to the Bicycle Collective to be used for their charitable programs.

This year’s event featured a 5-mile ride around downtown and the pioneer neighborhoods and ended at the Startup Building were the dance was held.

 

The event drew nearly 100 participants and raised $340 dollars, enough to provide six underprivileged people with a free Goodwill Bike from Provo Bicycle Collective.

Check out all the photos here. 

Thanks to all who attended and we hope to see more people next year!

What Can Provo Learn from Minneapolis?

In early September, Provo City traffic engineer Jared Penrod participated in Bike Utah’s second annual Mobile Active Transportation Tour of a bicycle-friendly community out of state. Last year, Provo city councilwoman Kim Santiago and city planner Bill Peperone joined a group that visited Fort Collins and Boulder. This year, Bike Utah about two dozen city and regional officials to Minneapolis, which has over 129 miles of on-street bikeways and 97 miles of off-street bikeways and has been awarded with the Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Minneapolis is also the home of the University of Minnesota, which has been recognized as a Platinum Level Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League. Check out these two videos, one serious and one wildly entertaining, but both enlightening.

On a lovely late summer day, the group rode about 13 miles around Minneapolis, including on campus. At last month’s (October’s) meeting, Jared talked about what he learned during the tour and showed us some photos that highlight those things. Two lessons stood out:

  • If there is the will, there is a way. Minneapolis’ mayor and city council have made bicycling as a mode of transportation a priority because they recognize it makes an important contribution to boosting quality of life.
  • Bicycling can thrive in cities with cold, snowy winters (and one that is much colder and snowier than Provo.) Minneapolis allocates funding to maintain a fleet of snow-removal vehicles that are dedicated to the removal of snow on the city’s vast network of bike lanes and trails.

Here are some photos that Jared took on the ride. Think about what Provo could learn from these visual examples.

A new barrier-protected bike lane above the curb in the downtown area.

An intersection crossing along the new protected bike lane.

A mini-round-about on a neighborhood bikeway. Provo City is planning on installing such a mini-round-about on 200 East, our community’s first neighborhood bikeway.

Another photo of the neighborhood bikeway. Notice on-street parking is maintained and bicyclists are comfortable taking the lane.

A lane leading to campus.

Bike lanes on one side and pedestrian path on the other on the UM campus. BYU is considering striping a path that flows through the Heritage Halls housing area from 900 E to campus like this.

A bicycle counter standing along a trail. When the group passed that morning, 430 people had already ridden by on bikes that day.

Minneapolis’ skyline in the distance and below one of the city’s trails alongside the railway tracks. This view is from the cable-suspension Martin Olav Sabo pedestrian and bike bridge, built in 2007, that spans the rail line and a freeway and provides a vital link between the university and the city.

A close up of a trail. Trails are used for both commuting and recreation.

A bike lane, buffered on both sides from moving cars on the left and car doors on the right.

An interesting design: bike lanes of a sort, no center line and not a lot of width for cars going opposite direction. Now that will lead to traffic calming.

Thanks to Jared for participating in the MATT and for sharing with us how Provo can become even more bicycle friendly.

 

Provo Bicycle Collective Forms Partnership With Local LDS Service Agencies

From Bicyclecollective.org:

 

“Provo Bicycle Collective is proud to announce  newly-formed partnerships with Deseret Industries, LDS Employment Center, and BYU English Language Center through which we hope to provide dozens of free bikes to people in need each year.

Our partnership allows Deseret Industries to recommend their associates and welfare clients to our shop for a free Goodwill Bike – donated bicycles refurbished by PBC volunteers. In 2016, Bicycle Collective gave away 1,436 Goodwill Bikes.

About Deseret Industries and LDS Employment Center:

Deseret Industries is a nonprofit thrift store and donation center that is

devoted to training and educating individuals to prepare them for the

workforce. In 2016, they served 15,597 hired associates and gave away

nearly 7 million pounds of clothing and shoes in humanitarian aid

About BYU English Language Center:

As a lab school, the English Language Center supports BYU’s

Department of Linguistics and English Language by facilitating the

teaching, learning, and research of English as a second language.

Our hope is that their clients will use these bikes to meet daily transportation needs; riding to work, shopping for groceries, and meeting appointments.

Bicycle Collective is always in need of money and bike donations and willing volunteers to repair bikes for giveaway. Interested donors and volunteers can find out how to get involved Bicyclecollective.org.”

Provo Bicycle Collective Forms New Partnership

From BicycleCollective.org:

“Provo Bicycle Collective is proud to announce a newly-formed partnership with Utah Community and Refugee Partnership Center (UCRPC), through which we hope to provide dozens of free bikes to refugees each year.

UCRPC is non-profit organization that is devoted to motivate, empower, enlighten and transform refugees’ life through education.  Their mission is to provide the education, orientation and support refugees need to become self-sufficient members of society.

Our partnership allows UCRCP to recommend their clients to our shop for a free Goodwill Bike – donated bicycles refurbished by PBC volunteers.  In 2016, Bicycle Collective gave away 1,436 Goodwill Bikes.

Our hope is that their clients will use these bikes to meet daily transportation needs; riding to work, shopping for groceries, and meeting appointments.

Bicycle Collective is always in need of money and bike donations and willing volunteers to repair bikes for giveaway.  Interested donors and volunteers can find out how to get involved Bicyclecollective.org.”

Provo Bicycle Collective Gives Away 31 Bikes for Bike to School Week

From Provo Bicycle Collective:

“Provo Bicycle Collective is proud to announce its gift of 27 bikes to Timpanogos Elementary, 2 bikes to Dixon Middle and 2 bikes to Provo High during Provo’s Bike to School week.  Our hope is that these bikes will be given to children who could not otherwise afford one so they too can ride their bikes to school.

These bikes came to Provo Bicycle Collective donated, were refurbished by volunteers, and safety checked by our trained mechanics.  We are always looking for worthy organizations to give bikes to and interested volunteers to fix bikes with us.  Contact provo@bicyclecollective.org with any questions.”