For a couple of hours March 21, students at Gillette Elementary put down their paper and pencils and picked up their bikes and helmets. More than 100 children took part in the school’s bike rodeo in the parking. Each child waited for their turn to navigate through an obstacle course set up by San Antonio Police Department’s SAFFE (San Antonio Fear Free Environment) Unit. The event, organized by Coach Marcia Rogers, helps teach safe bicycle riding techniques.
According to the Texas Drivers Handbook; Texas Department of Public Safety, Chapter 13, everyone, including children, should follow these certain rules when riding bicycles:
· Always wear an approved helmet -they do save lives.
· Take water (or a sports drink) with you.
· Carry a tire pump, patch kit and spare tube and learn how to use them.
· Take a good lock in case you want to secure your bike.
· Try to select your lowest gear so your feet can spin smoothly while maintaining easonable pressure on the pedals. This will reduce strain on your knees.
· Avoid busy roads. Use less traveled residential streets whenever possible.
· When riding near parked cars, be aware that car doors can suddenly open in front of you.
· Let pedestrians and other cyclists know you are passing them with an audible warning before you pass.
Tips for Bicyclist:
· Be visible and predictable and signal appropriately.
· Warn others when approaching. Bicycles must yield to pedestrians.
· Share the road. Bicyclists must obey the same laws as any motorist.
Tips for Motorists:
· Slow down as you approach a cyclist. Avoid use of your horn.
· Be alert. Most common motorist! cyclist collisions occur at intersections.
· Share the road. A bicyclist may delay your trip by seconds, but it's the other cars clogging the road that makes you late.
Selected Bicycle State Laws
· A cyclist is required to obey the same rules of the road as a motorist.
· A cyclist must give hand signals, observe signs and stop lights, yield the right of way when appropriate and keep a sharp look out for danger.
· A cyclist shall never ride opposite the flow of traffic.
· Persons riding side by side shall not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway.
· Every bicycle in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front and a red reflector on the rear.
· Bicycles may be ridden on roadway shoulders, except where expressly prohibited by law.