Provo Bike Month 2018

From the mayor’s blog:

Provo Bike Month!

Save the date! May is National Bike Month and Provo will be celebrating the many benefits of bicycling! Whether you bike to work or school, ride to save money or time, pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment, or simply to explore your community – you’re going to love the events and activities we’ve got planned. We’ve put together a month full of events and activities to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride!

Bike to Work Day
Tuesday, May 1 | 7:30-9:00 am Breakfast Stations hosted by employers, large & small, across the city
 
Provo businesses will host stations located throughout the city and hand out free breakfast, drinks, and other treats to people who arrive by bike from 7:30 – 9:00 am. (Provo City’s breakfast station will be open at 6:30 am for early bird riders.) Pick up some breakfast, get to know your fellow commuters, have your bike looked at by a pro mechanic, and connect with the Provo Bike Committee and other community volunteers. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Get-Yourself-a-Bike Sale
May 1-5, Provo Bicycle Collective
 
You want to participate in Bike Month, but you don’t have a bike or maybe not the bike you want. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Provo Bicycle Collective is lowering its already-low prices store-wide. EVERYTHING in the shop is 10% off from Tuesday, May 1 through Saturday, May 5. Come get yourself a bike, bell, basket, bag, or anything else! It doesn’t even have to start with the letter “B”! Refurbished adult bikes generally range from $100-$350 and kids’ bikes range from $30-150. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Free Bike Maintenance Class
Wednesday, May 2 | 7:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
A good bike is an investment that will last decades if properly maintained. But how do you maintain your bike?
Join us for a no-nonsense presentation about the essentials of basic bike maintenance taught by PBC’s senior bike mechanic and shop operations manager Ikaika Cox. You’ll walk away knowing how to keep your bike running reliably all year. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Bike Art Stroll
Friday, May 4 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Downtown Provo at Participating Businesses
 
Grab your bike and pedal on over for Downtown Provo’s May Art Stroll on Saturday, May 4 from 6-9 pm. Enjoy the good weather, good art, good music, and good company! There will be a variety of art galleries participating. Be sure to look for the “Gallery Open” signs in front of each participating gallery as you stroll downtown. You can pick up an event map at any of the locations.
 
Social Bike Rides
Wednesday, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | 8:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
No racing, no spandex, just a good-old ride around the city.
Join PBC staff as we ride through Provo and explore places you may have never been. The ride will be different each night, so join us for all of them. All ages and abilities welcome. Don’t forget your bike lights! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Women’s Night Open House
Monday, May 7 | 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
Bicycle maintenance has traditionally been an overwhelmingly male-dominated trade. Let’s change that!
Join your female-community on Monday, May 7 for a Women’s Night Open House to eat snacks, weld friendships, and check out the shop to see what we do on Women’s Volunteer Nights! Drop in anytime between 4 and 7pm. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Bike Theft Prevention Class
Wednesday, May 9 | 7:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
About 1,000 bikes are stolen each year in Provo. Will yours be next?
Join PBC location director Austin Taylor as we discuss how to keep your bike safe and recover it if stolen. Bike locks will be 10% off that night. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Overnight Bike Trip to Nunn’s Park
Friday, May 11 @ 6:00 pm to Saturday, May 12 @ 10am
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
Get out of the city and into the mountains by pedal power. Join PBC staff as we cruise the Provo River Trail up to Nunn’s Park to camp. Bring your loved ones or meet some new friends around the campfire! All ages are welcome.
Registration fee includes camping fee, campfire wood, and s’mores. Campers will need to bring their own sleeping arrangements (hammock, tent, sleeping bag, etc.), food, water, and some warm clothing for the night. If you do not have racks or bags to carry your gear on your bike, we’ll have a bike trailer that can carry up to 100lbs of gear and will happily shuttle your stuff. 
 
CycloFemme Ride
Saturday, May 12 | 1:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
CycloFemme is a Global Celebration of Women created TO HONOR THE PAST from the shoulders of those who stood before us, for the freedom to choose and the chance to wear pants. TO CELEBRATE THE PRESENT with strength and courage, voices raised, moving together. TO EMPOWER THE FUTURE of women everywhere, the backbone of positive social change. Join PBC program manager Kira Johnson for a fun, casual ride around the city for women of all ages and abilities. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Worldwide Ride of Silence
Wednesday, May 16 | Meet @ 6:30 pm, Ride starts @ 7:00 pm Dixon Middle School (750 W 200 N)
 
Join the Provo chapter of the Worldwide Ride of Silence on May 16th to ride to honor people who were killed or injured while biking this last year and last several years. We will begin at Dixon Middle School and go for a short, slow, silent ride with brief stops at the ghost bike memorials for Doug Crow and Mark Robinson, and return to Dixon Middle School where we will have light refreshments.
 
Bike-in Movie
Friday, May 18 | 9:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective
 
Think of it as a drive-in movie without the tailpipe emissions.
Join us at the shop for a movie night featuring “Rising from Ashes”, a film about Rwandans who used the bicycle to recover from genocide. Bring the whole family and snacks to share! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Free Bicycle Safety Check and Demo
Saturday, May 19 | | 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Riverview Park
 
As part of our initiative to support our community, Mad Dog Cycles will be partnering with Provo City and the Utah County Health Department to do a series of Bicycle and Helmet safety check events. Bring your Bicycle and Helmet to Riverview Park between 8am and Noon on May 19th for a FREE safety check (a $25 value in-store). We will also have the latest and greatest in bicycle technology with us for you to test ride. New pedal assist, Mountain and Road bikes will be on hand for FREE test rides. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Pedal Provo Ghost Tour
Saturday, May 19 | 9:00 pm
Provo City Cemetery
 
Pedal Provo Ghost Tour is holding a very special tour in celebration of Provo Bike Month! Tickets are required to come on this ride so please visit their website: https://pedalprovo.com/provo-bike-month-ghost-tour for more info and to claim your spot!
 
7th Annual FFUFR Forest Race
Friday, May 25 | 7:00 pm
Paul Ream Wilderness Park
 
FFUFR stands for Fun, Fun Underground Forest Race. Yes, it’s that fun.
Join us for a ridiculous race through the forest and streams at Paul Ream Wilderness Park. Bikes will be provided. Please bring your helmet and a side to share for the BBQ! All ages and abilities are welcome, racing is not required; you can just watch if you’d like! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.
 
Bikes & Trikes Festival
Saturday, May 26 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Memorial Park
 
Grab your family, friends, and neighbors and pedal on over to Memorial Park (800 E Center St) on Saturday, May 26th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. You’ll want to bring your bikes, trikes and training wheels for some fun cycling festivities your whole family will enjoy! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Provo Bicycle Collective Gives Free Bikes to 53 Children

From BicycleCollective.org:

“On Saturday, March 24th, dozens of children lined up to receive a free bicycle from Provo Bicycle Collective.

Within one hour, PBC had given all 53 bikes to children for free.

Our hope is that each bike recipient uses his or her bike to get to school each day and continues that habit into adulthood. This way, we can reduce traffic, clean Utah’s air, and create a healthier population.

We need your support in this cause!

Donate money or bikes today. $30 provides a bike for a child in need! Please give today!

2018’s Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award Goes to …

At the City Council on January 23rd, Committee member Rachel Whipple presented Colby Sanford with this year’s Winter Commuter Award.

Here is Rachel’s recognition of Colby.

“For the past seven years, the Provo Bicycle Committee has been recognizing outstanding
bicycle commuters for their contribution to Provo by awarding the Golden Spoke Award.

We believe in cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation that can help create
a cleaner, healthier, and safer society. It has the advantage of being fun, too.

Several years ago, I received the Golden Spoke for giving up our family car during Lent and
blogging about my experiences cycling and walking. So I am happy to be able to pass this
award on to another person who bicycles.

Three years ago, we began recognizing winter bicycle commuters with the help of Canyon–now
Hangar 15–Bicycles, which generously sponsors the winter award.

In an action unanimously approved by the Committee, I am pleased to award Colby Sanford
as the recipient of the 2018 Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award.

This winter, Colby has been documenting his bicycle commute, taking pictures of his bike, and sending them to his friend, Chris Wiltsie, the newly elected chair of the bike committee. Colby’s bicycle commute from his home in the Maeser Neighborhood to BYU started out of necessity, but has became intrinsically valuable for him. Although this story began as private exchange of photos and encouragement between these two that strengthened their friendship, the consistency and example of Colby cycling, in all sorts of weather and the documentation of it, are making an important contribution to bicycling in Provo. 
Colby is a university student, like many Provo residents, and an artist. In the latter capacity, he
is very active in the Provo art scene and contributes to the eclectic vibrance of our community.
The Provo Bicycle Committee would like to thank Colby for showing all of us that it is possible to bicycle commute in winter, even when it snows.”

A Brief History of the Provo Bicycle Committee

The reorganization of the committee (see post below) and the beginning of a new mayoral administration seem like a good time to pause and reflect on the past before we continue to accelerate our momentum in making Provo a more bicycle-friendly community, so as a historian (my day job) I decided to write up this brief history.

The committee was first established in the early 2000s and first led by Travis Jensen, a civil (traffic) engineering student at BYU. (Travis is now a bicycle infrastructure planner in SLC.) The committee worked with city engineers to make some important initial infrastructural improvements but after Travis graduated the committee entered a several-year hiatus. In late 2009, Zac Whitmore, Jamie Littlefield, and I revived the committee, and reached out to newly elected Mayor John Curtis, who recognized it, as he put it in our first meeting with him, as the “Mayor’s Provo Bicycle Committee.” That summer, Jamie had created this blog, bikeprovo.org, which along with social media became an important tool to spread word of our work. The blog also serves as an excellent record of our efforts and achievements. (If you would like to know more about some of the projects and initiatives mentioned below, please scroll down and back through time for more information.)

The committee, while not an official city body, enjoyed the support of the mayor and worked collaboratively with several city departments. This quasi-official status enabled us to collaborate city officials, both elected and non-elected, but take a more activist role at times. In 2009, we began to meet monthly, first in the offices of Economic Development, then in a Council conference room, for a while in the Community Oriented Policing Building, and since last year in the Community Development building.  We have been regularly joined by representatives from Public Works, Community Development, Police, Parks, and Economic Development, as well as the County Health department. We have hosted presenters from UDOT, UTA, MAG, Bike Utah, and many other organizations. Our average attendance during these last few years has ranged between 15 to 25 participants, but early on sometimes we only had only a few people show up. Although we would like Provo to undergo a bicycle revolution and become overnight a platinum-level bicycle friendly city, we have been pleased with the progress that Provo had made in becoming, physically and culturally, a great bike town.

In the last eight years, some of the accomplishments of the committee include:

  • Made tremendous progress, most importantly, toward the creation of a robust integrated network of bikeways throughout Provo. These include both major and minor improvements. Building support for a number of major and minor infrastructural improvements, including bike lanes and a multi-use pathway on 300 South and Utah’s second bike-signal at 200 East, the Lakeshore Drive multi-use trail, buffered bike lanes on North University Avenue, and bike lanes all across the city including on south 500 West.
  • Helped put several projects solidly in the pipeline that will happen in 2018 and 2019: protected bike lanes on Bulldog Blvd, a neighborhood bikeway on 200 East including Utah’s third bike-signal at 700 North as part of the BRT project, buffered bike lanes on 500 West between Center Street and Bulldog, another neighborhood bikeway on 800 East and 450 North linked by a cross-block path from 900 East to 800 East, and bike lanes on Canyon Road in the North Timpview and Edgemont Neighborhoods.
  • Achieved recognition for Provo from the League of American Bicyclists as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community. We had applied and been awarded bronze-level status in 2012. Gold and platinum are to come.
  • Established a sense of community among bicyclists by holding a variety of rides (including the ongoing Monday Night Night Rides) and events (such as periodic Provelo picnics that included bike jousting). The Provo Bicycle Committee FB group now boasts nearly 500 members.
  • Helped create the Provo Bicycle Collective. Zac and Krysta Whitmore and other committee members incubated the collective (which we are sometimes confused with), which after a few lean years became a thriving branch of the Salt Lake Bike Collective with an ideal location just south of the BYU campus at 200 North/400 East. It is now open five days a week, managed by Austin Taylor, and has helped thousands of people obtain refurbished bikes and learn to fix and maintain their bikes.
  • Organized three tactical urbanism projects—first in 2014 on University Avenue to call for pedestrian and bicycle improvements as part of the BRT project, then in 2015 on 200 East to build support for it becoming a neighborhood bikeway, and last year (2017) on 500 North in front of the Rec Center to pilot buffered bike lanes (which were implemented) and pedestrian improvements (which have yet to be realized).
  • Worked with UTA and then the city to organized Bike to Work Day in May, and transformed it from into Bike to Work Week, and for the last three years Bike Month, that has included among other events a Bike to Work Day where local business sponsor breakfast stations, a Ride of Silence, a Bike Prom, bike-in-movies, a Ghost Ride, a family bike event sponsored by Downtown Provo, and participation in the National Bike Challenge. The committee also recognizes both summer and winter dedicated bicycle commuters at a city council presentation.
  • Successfully encouraged the City Council to adopt the Provo Bicycle Master Plan in 2013.
  • Supported the city’s plans to improve the Provo River Trail in 2018 and 2019.
  • Supported the construction of a mountain bike skills park at Slate Canyon Park. One element—a downhill course—was completed in 2017. A pump-track is planned.
  • Hosted the Utah Bicycle Summit (and Gary Fisher) in Provo in 2016.
  • Represented the bicycling community on UTA BRT stakeholder committee to ensure that bicycling and pedestrian improvements are a part of the construction of this massive transit project. This had led to improvements of the College Connector Trail, the Provo River Trail tunnel under University Parkway, the aforementioned bike-signal at 700 W/200 E, and most importantly bike lanes on University Avenue from 700 North to 600 South along the BRT route (thanks to the efforts of then Mayor Curtis). (We have also provided support for the construction of a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the tracks at the Provo Frontrunner Station.)
  • Organized since 2011 an annual Bike to School Week in the Provo School District, which involves almost all K-12 schools and local bike shops to encourage hundreds of students to ride.
  • Arranged for consulting for Provo High School and several elementary school to be rebuilt in a more bicycle friendly manner.
  • Supported BYU to become a Bicycle Friendly University (now at the bronze-level) through infrastructural improvements and programming.
  • In 2016, Bike Utah recognized the Provo Bicycle Committee with the 2016 Local Advocacy Award.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the committee over the years. History is moving in our direction. Let’s move it forward even faster.

 

Provo Bicycle Collective Invites Women to Volunteer

From BicycleCollective.org

“Bike mechanics has traditionally been a male-dominated trade. Let’s change that.

Women’s volunteer hours are designed to create a safe and inclusive space for learning bike mechanics. All bicycles repaired by volunteers are given away to people who couldn’t otherwise afford one, giving independent transportation to those who need it most. Our goal in creating this program will be reached if women feel included in our volunteer program.

We invite all women and other female-identifying people to join us during these volunteer hours to repair bikes for those in need. We need your help!

Provo Bicycle Collective gave away 408 bikes in 2017 and with your help, we will give away many more in the years to come.”

Current volunteer hours for this program are Mondays from 4pm to 7pm.   Drop in anytime during those hours to join.

Let’s Talk About Parking

Parking was a hot topic in local politics during 2017.  Some citizens feel they can never park their cars close enough to their destination.  Frustrated residents of dense neighborhoods feel they don’t have enough on-street space to park their cars.  Small business owners feel that they need more parking to attract clients.  Provo has taken a step in the right direction by hiring Matthew Taylor as the city’s parking administrator to help solve these issues.

Instead of debating these points, we’d like to point out that bicycle parking costs much less than car parking.

By choosing to ride, we decrease the need for more car parking spaces.  This means businesses and governments can spend less on parking.  What does this mean for you?  Lower prices at the grocery store, lower tuition cost, lower taxes; etc.

As demand for bike parking increases, organizations will have to invest in quality bike parking.  What makes ideal bike parking?

Along with a trusted lock, good bike parking keeps your bike safe.

A good bike racks will have the following characteristics:

Let’s all resolve to do the following to advocate for good bike parking throughout Provo:

  1. Ask for bike parking where you shop.
  2. Ask for bike parking where you work.
  3. Ask for bike parking where you live.
  4. Draw attention to businesses with attractive bike parking.

Provo Bicycle Committee Reorganized

At the Committee’s first meeting of 2018 on January 4, we reorganized the structure and elected and appointed new leadership. The most impressive ingredient of the meeting was the energy and enthusiasm. We may have had a record turn-out with no fewer than 27 attendees.

Based on the charter we adopted late last year, we elected Chris Wiltsie as the new chair and Christina Catron as secretary with Rachel Whipple as assistant secretary. Equally as important, over twenty members of the committee agreed to act as coordinators for three different kinds of projects: bikeways, events and special, and other initiatives.

Here is a list of project coordinator appointments.  If you would like to know more about or help out with a particular project, please contact the coordinator. If you are interested in serving in some capacity, please let us know.

bikeway projects

  •      Bulldog/1230 North (protected bike lanes): Aaron Skabelund
  •      BRT-related lanes and College Connector Trail: Chris Blinzinger
  •      (North) 500 West: David Harding, Shannon Bingham, Kirby Snideman, Aaron
  •      (South) 500 W (bike lanes south of I-15): Becky Hunt
  •      500 N (pedestrian issues, extension to University in 2018): Shannon Bingham
  •      Canyon Road (bike lanes in Edgemont): Stuart Withers
  •      200 E (neighborhood bikeway): Josh Cordon, Celeste Kennard, Hugh Van Wagenen
  •      800 E/450 N (neighborhood bikeway): Wayne Leavitt
  •      Tree Streets (bike route): Jamin Rowan
  •      Provo River Trail improvements: Eric Chase
  •      Dirt trails (Slate Canyon/Bonneville Shoreline Trail):
  •      Others:

events and special projects

  •      Representative to mayor’s budget review committee: Christina Catron
  •      Active Transportation Pilot: Heather Skabelund, Miles Miller
  •      Bikeway Tour (spring ride for city officials): Ted Lyon, Grant Skabelund
  •      Bike to School Week (September): Rachel Whipple
  •      Bike Month (working with Whitney Booth): Ben Mcmurry, Aaron, Austin Taylor
  •      Ride of Silence (May): Lucy Ordaz
  •      Bike map (working with City’s Phil Uhl): Sabrina Huyett, Stuart Withers
  •      Wayfinding (working with City’s Matt Taylor): Shauna Mecham, Kira Johnson, Daniel Jensen
  •      Bikeshare (working with City’s Chad Thomas): Naomi Lemoyne, Stuart Withers
  •     Golden Spoke (Winter and Summer) Bicycle Commuter Award:
  •     Freedom Festival parade:
  •     Provo Birthday Historic Homes Ride (March):
  •     Other events and special projects:

other Initiatives

  •   bikeprovo: Jamie Littlefield
  •   public relations: Austin Taylor, Kira Johnson
  •   committee traffic engineering consultant: Clancy Black
  •   committee planning consultant: Hugh Van Wagenen
  •   education: Elias Flores and Kai Cox
  •   walkability: Tinesha Zandemela, Susan Krueger-Barber
  •   bike parking: Mary Wade
  •   Bicycle Friendly Business outreach:
  •   Transportation & Mobility Advisory Committee: Grant Skabelund (will apply)
  •   Sustainability Committee: Sabrina Huyett
  •   Transit: Jacob Johnson
  •   Safe Routes to School
  •   Other initiatives:

We are confident that the committee’s new leadership and organization will help us accelerate the momentum we have to make Provo even more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Provo Bicycle Committee Charter

Here is the charter the committee adopted in late 2017 that went into effect beginning in 2018.

Provo Bicycle Committee

We are group of volunteers seeking to make bicycling an everyday part of people’s lives in our community. Recognized as the Mayor’s Provo Bicycle Committee, we work closely with representatives of city departments to accomplish this objective.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the Provo Bicycle Committee is to advance the creation of infrastructure, programs, events, and performance evaluation across Provo that enable and encourage residents of all ages and abilities to get around safely using active transportation modes (primarily bicycling and walking), as well as mass transit.

PROJECTS

This purpose will be pursued through the development and implementation of action-oriented projects that encourage local governments to increase and improve conditions for active transportation. Projects are primarily driven by needs identified by group members and may include working with resident stakeholders and reaching out to partner organizations, meetings with officials, and other coalition building exercises. The group will also monitor upcoming opportunities within Provo such as city, state, and UTA initiatives. Projects that lead to widespread citizen engagement and use tactical urbanism as a tool for effecting change are encouraged.

MEETINGS

Regular monthly meetings will be held the first Thursday of the month from 5-6 pm. (Currently we meet in the Community Development second floor conference room at 330 W. 100 S.)

At each meeting, we will have a brief handout on active projects so new participants can fit their energy into existing efforts. If members would like information about their project included, they need to send a one-paragraph update by the Monday prior to the meeting. Include a brief overview of the project, its current status, and where support is needed.

OFFICERS

Each officer shall

  • Serve a two- to three-year term or until their successors are elected
  • Be elected by majority vote via ballot by those present
  • Not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office

Chair/Co-Chairs – Responsible for facilitating meetings and keeping the group on task

Secretary – Responsible for taking meeting minutes

Project Coordinators – Responsible for supporting campaigns, including posting petitions and updating information on the website and/or BikeProvo.org

GROUP RULES

In order to ensure this group is making positive steps forward, we have set some basic rules for how the group and meetings will operate:

Be inclusive – We want more people in Provo to be able to bike and walk safely, and to use mass transit. The more people and partners working to make this a reality, the more quickly and effectively this future can be realized.

No complaining – This group is action- and solution-oriented. You probably came to the Provo Bicycle Committee regarding a lack of infrastructure, a safety concern, or some other issue related to bicycling and/or walking. Let’s determine what the problem is, identify a solution, create a plan, and get to work.

No acronyms – In order to be inclusive, we strive to use language that supports mutual understanding between all group members and those who attend meetings.

You are responsible for the fate of your project – If you are the lead on a project, your own effort will largely dictate its success or failure. People in the group are willing to support you with expertise, connections, and strategy, but you must take ownership of your campaign.

Make a plan – A goal without a plan is just a wish. Developing a plan will allow more people to rally around your cause and increase the likelihood of your campaign’s success. A sample plan can be found in the Transportation Alternatives Activist Guide on pages 22 and 23.

Work gets done between meetings – Most of what will get accomplished will take place outside of the scheduled meetings. Time in the meetings is reserved for short updates, requests for support/guidance, and presentation of new projects. Always leave meetings with a strategy or next steps for moving your project forward.

Healthy Tension – We strive for a healthy tension with all of our projects and our work in general. This type of approach ensures that we push local communities to improve active transportation while maintaining positive relationships and fostering mutual benefit. We practice persistence and patience.

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.

The Provo Bicycle Community Welcomes Mayor Michelle Kaufusi

We’re starting off the new year by welcoming Provo’s new mayor, Michelle Kaufusi.

Last month (despite being extraordinarily busy after taking office early) Mayor Kaufusi took the time to sit down with representatives of the Provo Bicycle Committee. We’re delighted to report that she invited us to continue our role as the mayor’s official committee.

Mayor Kaufusi was particularly interested in listening to our stories and finding ways that she could best help Provo become a safer, more welcoming place to ride a bicycle or walk.

A few weeks later, we were tickled when one of the new mayor’s first videos featured her taking the lane on two wheels…

When Mayor Curtis first took office eight years ago, bicycling was almost never mentioned. Now, it’s taken seriously in Provo and throughout the state as a way to encourage quality of life, improve our air, and create great neighborhoods for our families. Mayor Curtis took bicycling into the Provo mainstream, and we have high hopes that Mayor Kaufusi will be able to make Provo one of the best cities for cycling in the West!

Welcome, Mayor Kaufusi!