It’s bike month! Each May, communities and bicycling enthusiasts showcase the many benefits of cycling. And for the Midwest, May is the perfect month to get pedaling. The League of American Bicyclists has ranked Illinois in the top 25 bicycle friendly states, landing at 16 on the list. Illinois also comes in 16th for bicycle friendly communities, 17th for bike friendly businesses and 9th for bike friendly universities! Better Business Bureau serving Chicago Illinois has the following tips and ideas for you to enjoy bike month and stay safe in the process.
Find A Bike You Love
Want to start cycling but don’t have a set of wheels? You’ll need to first, decide what type of bike is best for you. Think about: What will you be using your bike for? Exploring the city for an hour or two, taking a long distance tour on a country road and riding rough off-road trails all require a different type of bike. You may want to visit a trusted bicycle shop in your area like BBB Accredited, Barnard's Schwinn, Ltd.. They’re shop, which has been around for 106 years, is stocked with products from an array of vendors. If they don’t have a product you’re looking for from a vendor they carry, they’ll special order it just for you!
Have a bike laying around somewhere in your garage or storage unit? It’s time to dust it off for Bike Month! Grab a new set of tires, get a quick tune up or a full overhaul with additional specialized services at Trusted, Bucephalus Bikes of Evanston, IL. Bucephalus Bikes also offers classes, like Bicycling Breakdown and events, like special parts sales that you can easily find on their website.
Crash Course: Bicycle Safety
Before you head out for a calming ride through a nature trail, or to brave the city streets on your commute to work, consider these safety tips offered up by Cyber Drive Illinois:
Protect: Don’t think twice about wearing a helmet. And make sure the one you choose to wear is properly fitted and adjusted. Protection doesn’t begin and end with the proper helmet. Ensure that your bike is fitted with the proper safety equipment, that your seat is adjusted properly and your brakes are reliable.
Understand & Obey: Pay extra attention to where you’re permitted to ride, and where you are not. Keep in mind that cyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians on sidewalks and crosswalks. You’ll want to ensure that you are well versed on all traffic signals and signs, including pavement markings and right of way laws.
Additionally, check the municipal code regarding bicycles for your city. In Chicago, bicycle riding is not permitted on Lake Shore Drive. If you’re from Chicago, chances are you understand why!
Join The Club
There’s an entire community of bicyclists who find common ground in their love for biking. Find groups that you can join or preplanned rides and other events with clubs like the Chicago Cycling Club.
As A Driver
Bucephalus Bikes mentions on their website that injuries to cyclists from dooring continues to increase. They inform us that, “Presently, there is a bill in the Illinois House to add bike safety questions to the questions used in the state driver’s license exam. One question would address the Dutch Reach method, meant to reduce bicycle dooring crashes after parallel parking a car. Contact your state rep to urge them to support the bill.”
Ultimately, bike riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers behind the wheel. But, as a driver you need to remain alert especially as the weather continues to warm up. Be especially attentive in parking lots, at stop signs and when backing up regardless of time of day. Contrary to popular belief, more than half of cyclist/vehicle accidents occur in broad daylight rather than at night and almost half of cyclist fatalities occur on rural roads.
This bike month, find a bike you’ll love to ride and all of the additional products you’ll need to stay safe on country roads, city streets and anywhere in between from businesses you can trust at bbb.org/ask.