A Challenge for Bike to Work Day–This Friday May 15

13 May

Well, I was out of town the last few days and the coming of Bike to Work Day snuck up on me this year. For those of you interested in participating, you can get full info at

As in past years if you register you are entered into a bicycle raffle and can visit any of the over 70 “pit stops: for food, drink and free T-shirts. The weather’s supposed to be fine for a ride, so if you can bike to work, try it out.

Last year I did an extensive post on Preparing for Bike-to-Work Day, and I urge you to read it, or re-read it if you read it last year, as a short primer on things to know before you go.

I don’t have prizes or free T-shirts to give you, but this year I’d like to challenge all the bicyclists riding on Friday, whether you register formally or not, to obey all the rules all during their rides, especially three we so often talk about in this blog:

1. Stop at all red lights and stop signs.

2. Remember you are traffic and dont ride the wrong way on oneway streets.

3. Dont ride on the sidewalks. Remember it is illegal to ride on sidewalks in the Central Business District (see my prior post for the boundaries) and, while you can ride on sidewalks elsewhere, you must yield to pedestrians. And it is always a bad idea. This is what the WABA booklet on Safe Bicycling in the Washington Area says:

Sidewalks and Pedestrians: Sidewalks are not suitable places to ride bicycles; sidewalks are designed for the slower speeds of pedestrians, not the faster speeds of bicyclists. In fact, sidewalk riding is illegal in many areas–so check local laws. If you ride on a sidewalk, yield to pedestrians; where there are lots of people, walk your bike. Pedestrians don’t like to be surprised by bicyclists passing from behind, so you should warn them of your approach. For example, call out “Passing on your left.” When approaching corners, alleys, and driveways, slow down and make noise.

Post a comment here after Friday and tell me how you did.

Let’s make this a safe Bike to Work day for everyone, bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. And remember STAY ALERT; DON’T GET HURT.


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