Leave The Car At Home it's Bike to Work Day

By Maureen Mespell
By Scott Sarvay

May 20, 2011 Updated May 20, 2011 at 12:43 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Friday is Bike to Work Day, motorists are being asked to leave the car at home and ride a bicycle to work. The party kicks off at Headwaters Park West from 7 to 8:30 a.m. with free coffee and bagels, and bus passes with other commuters.

"With gas now at more than $4 a gallon, Hoosiers are finding yet another reason to ride their bikes to work," said Nancy Tibbett, executive director of Bicycle Indiana, an advocacy group that works to create a bicycle-friendly state. "Not only do you save money, but you benefit from the exercise and contribute to a cleaner community."

Fort Wayne Outfitters is hosting the Bike to Work Day After party from 4-8 p.m. just east of the Wells Street Pedestrian Bridge on the Rivergreenway.

Here are some helpful tips from Bicycle Indiana for both bicyclists and motorists.

Cyclist Safety Check:
• Use your head: Wear a helmet.
• Be seen: Wear bright colors, use lights in low-light conditions.
• Go with the flow: Ride with traffic, not against it.
• No surprises: Ride straight and be predictable.
• Be handy: Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops.
• Look back: Use a mirror to see traffic approaching from behind.
• Let rules rule: Follow traffic rules as if you're driving a car.
• Be right: Ride as close to the right-hand side of the road as is practical and safe.
• Go to your left: Before turning left, check for traffic and move safely to the left portion of the travel lane so motorists can see where you're going.

Motorist Safety Check:
• Be alert: Bicycles are more difficult to see than cars.
• Pass with care: When passing cyclists, slow down and allow plenty of room (at least 3 feet).
• Don't squeeze: Don't force cyclists into potholes or other road hazards - give them room to maneuver.
• Skip the horn: Don't honk - it can startle a cyclist and cause him or her to swerve.
• Respect speed: Don't assume cyclists are slow-pokes - many travel 25-30 mph or faster.
• Give way: Yield to oncoming bikes when turning, just as you do for cars.

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