Bike safety tips for riders and drivers

Eau Claire (WQOW) – It’s Wisconsin Bike Week, and activities kicked off in downtown Eau Claire Tuesday morning.

The closer we get to summer, the more bicyclists will be riding through our city.

Jeremy Gragert of Bike Chippewa Valley, helped organize Eau Claire’s Bike Week kickoff, and told News 18 the community should embrace bike friendliness.

"Eau Claire has a lot of great attributes that make it a bike friendly city," said Gragert. "I think it’s really good for the environment to get on a bike as often as you can. It’s really good for your health, it’s good for other people around you, it makes for safer streets." 

However, Gragert wants everyone to stay safe on our roads.

"It’s a mutual responsibility to share our public roadways with drivers and bicyclists," said Gragert. "A lot of drivers are bicyclists too and a lot of bicyclists are drivers too, so we’re kind of all in the same boat, we’re just trying get where we need to go, and we want to get there safely."

Safety of both bicyclists and drivers is something local police agree with.

"We’re working, the city and numerous community partners, and individuals are working for it to be a more bike friendly city than it already is, and so we need to remember to slowdown and give them some space on the roadway," said Eau Claire police officer, Bridget Coit.

Coit also said bicyclists also need to be aware while riding.

"City ordinance indicates that bicycles cannot be on the sidewalks and riding on the sidewalks, that’s why its important you’re on the street and following the rules of the road," Coit said.

Another important aspect of bike safety is proper bike maintenance, for several reasons.

"The first and foremost reason is probably safety, and then your bike will just ride better, easier, smoother, and you’ll have more fun," said Sean Brandenburg of Shift Cyclery and Coffee Bar. "I recommend you check your tire pressure, give your brakes a squeeze, make sure they work, then when you head out you can kind of shift your gears and make sure they’re working right."

Bicyclists and Police agree, bike week is all about enjoying the outdoors.

"Bike week is all about getting more people on bicycles more often," said Gragert.

If you’d like to learn more about bike week activities, click hereand here.

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