Bicycling experts demonstrate proper ride techniques in Allentown

Author: , Reporter,
Published: Jun 28 2013 05:34:40 PM EDT

Street smart is when cycling in Allentown could mean the difference between a safe ride and disaster.

"Part of these new shared lane markings [sharrows] are to show people where to be riding their bikes in traffic," said Brian Sherry, a bicycling instructor. "Hopefully, these lane markings will help motorists understand cyclists have a right to be there in the first place."

Bicycle experts from the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation, in cooperation with the Allentown Health Bureau, demonstrated traveling through traffic on Friday.

"If you are stopping at a stop light, can keel up side by side. When start going again, get into one lane so cars won't squeeze past you," Sherry said.

City cycling road rules are as follows: always ride with traffic and stay in the middle of the lane to avoid being a casuality of an open car door or being squeezed aside by drivers; and stay off sidewalks, which can be easier said than done.

"A lot of other people do it. I'm not the only one," said rider Tom Shook.

Many riders don't follow the rules of the road, said bicycle Ofc. Dan Miller, Allentown Police Dept.

"A lot don't understand that riding a bike is like a car. Need to follow the same rules that apply to vehicles," Miller said.

If not, the results can be tragic, but Sherry said he hopes the "sharrows" and education can cut down on catastrophe.

"One reason why so many motorists are so angry with cyclists is often times they are running red lights, going the wrong way, weaving in and out of traffic," Sherry said. "Hopefully, help us have cyclists ride roads responsibly, help motorists see we are not all bad guys."