May 15

Ride the Right Way Day – Message to Cyclists

 This Friday, May 18, 2012, is National Bike to Work Day.  18 years ago, the bicycle leadership in the Lehigh Valley, many of whom bike to work virtually every day, started a different tradition, calling this date, Ride the Right Way Day.  At first, the promotional effort was single minded:  ride your bike the same direction as every other vehicle on the road.

 The effort started in response to the level of ignorance, in both cyclists and the general population, of the correct direction to ride a bike on the street.  The annual effort has been very successful, reducing wrong way riding significantly.  In Bethlehem, where the Ride the Right Way Day campaign is complemented with bicycle education and Shared Lane Markings the incidence of wrong way riding has dropped the most, from 47% to 23%.

 It is no coincidence that respect both for cyclists and by cyclists is noticeably higher in Bethlehem.  Where else could a bus operator, a youthful driver and the police department join together to surround and capture a motorist who attempted to flee the scene after hitting a legally operated bicycle & its driver.  This unique event went viral as a video on the Bethlehem Police Department blog.

 Celebrate Ride the Right Way Day by showing respect for the other roadway users, be they pedestrians, motorists or your fellow cyclists.  Show respect for yourself.  Obey these four lifesaving rules:

 Ride the same direction as other vehicles.

Do not ride through red lights.

Stay off the sidewalk.

Use a front headlight & rear red light at night.

 Let’s make every day Ride the Right Way Day. 

Learn more about riding a bike in traffic confidently and safely by taking Traffic Skills 101 from a League of American Bicyclists certified Cycling Instructor.

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