So this month is National Bike Month and this week is National Bike to Work Week and today is National Bike to Work Day! Many communities across the nation are taking advantage of National Bike to Work Week to promote commuting by bicycle. Of course, there are lots of reasons to encourage cycling to work. You might be trying to save some gas money, improve your fitness, or lessen your environmental impact. Whatever your reason, it's a great way to get more connected to your community.
One of our superstar paralegals at Handy & Handy told me about a fun article on npr.org that talks about the "Lingo of Safe Cycling." Here's some examples taken from the NPR story:
Salmoning: going against the stream in a one-way bike lane
Door Zone: The space right next to a parked car. If the driver happens to open the door just as your riding by, you're going to get "doored." (Cyclists have been seriously injured or killed because of this)
Sharrow: The is the symbol at the end of the bike lane - where cars and bikes begin to mix in a shared lane.
Ninja: This is the guy who wears dark clothes and rides at night with no lights. Not a good idea. According to Utah law cyclists are required to have a front and rear light in low light conditions.
Shoaling: Shoaling occurs when cyclists congregate in groups like schools of fish at a red light.
Idaho Stop: When a cyclists treats a stop sign as a yield sign. This happens all the time, but apparently it's only legal in the gem state.
If communiting by bike to work is your thing, just be careful. Be extra defensive and remember that cars don't see cyclists very well - just like they don't see motorcycles. Cyclists need to follow and obey the rules of the road just like cars.
In Utah, we recently had a tragic accident involving two men who were struck by a truck and killed while cycling to work early one morning. As cycling becomes increasingly popular in our cities we have to do what we can to avoid auto-bike accidents. Hopefully our cities and local governments will take steps to establish bike lanes and continue to educate drivers.
For more information about sharing the road, check out Utah's Road Respect initiative. It's a great program designed to get drivers and cyclists to show each other mutual respect and share the road. Iblogged about the Roard Respect Tour last year and I'm glad to see that Utah is keeping the initiative going.
And whatever you do, don't Salmon!