We are well into this year’s Tahoe Bike Challenge, which kicked off on Saturday, June 1, 2013, got a huge boost with America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride on Sunday, June 2, and runs all the way to June 14, 2013. The Tahoe Bike Challenge started as another “Bike to Work Week” a few years ago, and has since morphed into a challenge to put your car in the garage for a couple weeks to see how fun, easy and healthy life can be without it.
To date, 526 miles have been logged, with 117 gallons of gas saved (I’m not sure what kind of car these people are driving if they’re only getting 4.5 miles per gallon). More impressively, our atmosphere has been spared 10,202 pounds of CO2. Last year, teams put 13,883 miles on their bikes instead of their cars. I encourage everyone to take the challenge, even if it’s for only a day or two. There’s no better way to start or end the day than with a little exercise at beautiful Lake Tahoe!
With more bikes on the road, here my top five tips for staying safe (motorists and cyclists):
1. Act like a car – This means obeying all the traffic signs and signals and riding in the same direction as traffic.
2. Be predictable – Don’t dart out in front of oncoming cars, make sudden turns, etc.
3. Ride single file – Most bike lines can’t accommodate riding side-by-side and you don’t want to ride in the road if you can help it. There’s really no reason to ride next to somebody anyway because you want to…
4. Be aware – It’s just as much the cyclist’s responsibility to stay out of accidents as it is the motorist’s. You shouldn’t impair your senses by wearing headphones, having conversations, texting (did I just say that?). If you need to listen to music, just put it in your right ear so your left ear (you’re riding WITH traffic, right?) is free to hear traffic noise.
5. Wear a helmet – It’s just a good idea, and if you’re under 18 in California, it’s the law.
Have fun out there this week and be safe. For all the info, go to Tahoebikechallenge.org.
~ Russ Pecoraro