Bikes Hit the Streets - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Bikes Hit the Streets

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Warmer temperatures have cyclists hitting the pavement, which means motorists need to keep an extra-watchful eye.

"This time of the year, remember that we are going to have more bicyclists out there. So, motorists need to be aware of them, and bicyclists need to remember that they aren't seen as easily as a motor vehicle and to take a little more time and allow the vehicles to see them as well," says crime prevention officer Pat Renz.

Last year, "Share the Road" signs were posted and bike lanes were added to some busy Bismarck streets. But some cyclists still don't feel safe on the road.

"They just don't really pay attention to you. You're kind of small and not really in their peripheral vision. We're not really noticeable, I guess," says cyclist Rafe Wehri.

Wehri bikes about six miles a day, and he prefers to stay on the sidewalk when he can. But he doesn't always have a choice. Bikes are prohibited in downtown Bismarck.

When cyclists ride on the road, they must obey the same rule as motorists.

"If you are a bicyclist riding on the streets within Bismarck city limits, you are considered a vehicle. And you have to follow any other laws as any other vehicle," says Renz.

It's important for both cyclists and motorists to be familiar with the signals a cyclist might use on the roadway. When you come to an intersection and intend to stop, put your arm out to the left side of your body and signal, 'Stop.' If you plan on making a left hand turn, extend your arm to the left to signal, 'Left.' And to signal a right hand turn, put your arm at a ninety degree angle to signal right.

"I just usually say,'On your left,' or something like that, just to kind of give them a heads up. And one actually didn't know her directions so she went left instead of noticing I was on the left. So, that was interesting," says Wehri.

Wehri says he hasn't worn any protective equipment in the past.

"After a few close calls, I'm actually going to get a helmet. I've got it on order right now through work here, which is Scheels," says Wehri.

Because whether you are on the sidewalk or the street, it is always best to practice safety first.

For NBC North Dakota News, I'm Krista Harju.

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