Louisville, Kentucky was recently included in a USA Today list of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. And, with Mayor Greg Fischer calling for the addition of 40 miles of new bike lanes throughout the city in 2015, it seems the Derby City is set on growing this reputation.
Everyone can benefit from Louisville’s focus on improving the city’s rideability, from experienced riders to biking beginners. Whether you are hitting the streets for the first time or are a seasoned cycler, practicing bike safety at all times is key. Here are the safety essentials to keep you riding happy and healthy:
- Wear a helmet: Whether you are going for a leisurely bike ride in your neighborhood or taking part in the Bike to Beat Cancer, benefiting Norton Cancer Institute, a well-fitting helmet is a must. The Safe America Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to injury prevention and the practice of good safety habits, reports that a helmet can reduce head injuries from bicycle accidents by 85 percent.
- Ride in bike lanes: The addition of bike-only lanes throughout Louisville is making it easier for people to commute on two wheels instead of four. If you are planning to commute to work on your bicycle, consider mapping a route that includes bike lanes. Ride the City Louisville provides a mapping service that identifies the safest routes to where you want to go. You can also visit Louisville Metro government’s site to learn about current and proposed bike projects throughout the city.
- Light it up: Biking at night can be hazardous, as it is more difficult for cars to see you. Add powerful lights to the front and back of your bicycle and wear reflective clothing and other gear for added protection.
Home to many secure bike paths, including the 8-mile Louisville Riverwalk, and numerous park spaces that allow for safe and scenic riding, Louisville is an ideal city for the recreational bicyclist. Louisville also offers resources for experienced and new bikers alike, including specialty bike shops that can fit you for the perfect bike and helmet as well as riding clubs that can team you up with training partners and insights into the best roadways to bike.
If you are looking for a way to break in your wheels or complete your first century, join the Bike to Beat Cancer ride on Saturday, Sept. 20. Riders can choose various distances, including a 35-, 65- and 100-mile ride or a 5-mile family ride. Riders are asked to raise funds to support important Norton Cancer Institute prevention, treatment and educational initiatives as well as programs that encourage patients and families to approach cancer with a hopeful outlook. A training program is available to all riders. Group rides are scheduled until race day. Find your motivation and ride your bike for a good cause. Visit www.biketobeatcancer.org to register or for more information on this year’s ride.