Spring means more bikes on the streets
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – It’s no secret that many Vermonters love their bike rides, especially as the weather improves. Local bike experts share some important safety tips for enjoying spring days on wheels.
“Oh my God, we ride bikes all the time,” said Lucia Campriello of Burlington.
And as the weather improves, more cyclists are hitting the trails, parks and the road.
“I love the idea of getting out and exploring the woods and seeing new places,” said Brent Detamore of Easton, NH
But before you dust off your bike from its winter hibernation, you should take a closer look. JP Coseno of North Star Sports says you should also see the age of your helmet as it has a lifespan of around 5 years.
“The tires are deflated, they haven’t checked the bike, so it could move around, things of that nature,” adds Coseno.
Local Motion’s Mary-Catherine Graziano says a cyclist’s job is to be aware, predictable and visible.
“When riding, keep an eye out for all potential hazards and the hazards include people driving, that’s the biggest hazard,” Graziano said.
When riding near cars, Graziano says you should use hand signals when turning at an intersection, ride in a straight line instead of threading the needle, and weave your way through traffic if necessary.
“If you don’t, my suggestion would be to get off your bike and become a pedestrian at that intersection. It will slow you down and you are still predictable,” Graziano said.
Both Graziano and Coseno say that wearing a helmet and lighting your bike is also essential for your safety.
“Even during the day, they make the lights visible in daylight, because in fact more accidents happen during the day than at night,” Coseno said.
It is also the driver’s responsibility to be safe. According to data from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, there have been no cyclist fatalities in the state of Vermont since 2020 and the goal is to keep that number at zero.
“With that, with great power comes great responsibility. When passing a vulnerable user, provide a reasonable distance, Vermont state law suggests 4 feet. It’s a good rule of thumb,” says Graziano.
Now that you know some safety tips for your bike, it might be a good idea to adjust it for the season as well. Experts we spoke to suggest doing this as soon as possible due to large crowds and supply chain issues.
“I would say the worst-case scenario is around 4-5 weeks, but beating the case can be faster and we can always get someone in a little faster,” Coseno said.
And for those who are ready to cycle on the ground, they say it feels good to be back.
“It’s just a little hobby that I like to do. We live near a road next to our house and I go up and down, it’s fun,” said Caitlin Detamore of Easton, New Hampshire.
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