From a WABA press release:
month of May is National Bike Month and as part of its efforts to encourage
safe bicycling for transportation and recreation, the Washington Area Bicyclist
Association (WABA) is stepping up its efforts to teach cyclists about safe
cycling behavior by offering free classes to adults where they can learn the
basics of bike safety. At WABA’s “Confident City
Cycling” classes, cyclists will be taught about bicycle selection and
fit, gearing and cadence, nutrition and hydration, proper use of accessories,
bike handling, hazard avoidance, traffic law, proper lane placement, and simple
bike maintenance. The classes are made free and open to the public
through grants from the District of Columbia, Arlington County, and the City of
Alexandria. A complete class schedule with more information and online
registration can be found at www.waba.org.
increasing number of Washington area residents are realizing all the benefits
that bicycling offers,” said Eric Gilliland, WABA’s executive
director. “Whether they choose to ride for their health, for the
environment, or for just plain fun, we want to make sure that people are as
safe as possible when they choose to go by bike.”
Association suggests that cyclists follow the following safety tips:
- Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. Bicycles are considered vehicles on the roadway, and cyclists are responsible for following the same rules as cars.
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic and use hand signals for all turns. Stay as far to the right as safely possible. When approaching an intersection, position yourself so that you are clearly visible, and out of any blind spot.
- Scan ahead for obstacles in the roadway and learn to avoid them without swerving into traffic. Watch out for opening car doors.
- Be visible. Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing. If you choose to bike at night, a white front light and red rear reflector are required by law in most states.
also urges area drivers to watch for the increased number of cyclists on area
roads and trails.
The highlight of Bike Month is Bike to Work Day, which will take place on Friday, May 16th 15th. Bike to Work Day is a partnership between WABA and the Commuter Connections program of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, who hold the event as the Washington region’s annual celebration of bicycling as a form of transportation. This year’s event will feature 26 “pit stops” around the region where cyclists will be offered food, entertainment and prizes. WABA is also organizing “bicycle commuter convoys” that will converge on downtown DC from around the region in order to help people find the best way to get from home to work by bike. Each registered participant will receive a free t-shirt and will be entered into a raffle to win a new bike. Registration is available online at www.waba.org. Other bike month events include bike and gear swaps, bike rack dedications, presentations on cycling at local embassies, and even WABA’s second annual Bike Prom.