Summer bike safety in the Southern Tier

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Joel Johnson

In this Friday, May 15, 2020 photo, Joel Johnson rides his new bicycle on a bike path at Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Johnson hadn’t owned a bicycle since he was 15, but soon after the coronavirus pandemic led to a shelter in place order in San Francisco, he bought a bike to avoid crowded public trains and buses. Johnson is among thousands of cooped-up Americans snapping up new bicycles or dusting off decades-old bikes to stay fit, keep their mental sanity or have a safe alternative to public transportation. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — With summer on the horizon and more bicyclists hitting the roadways, safety is a focus.

Officials say bicyclists need to be proactive in checking their bikes frequently and ensuring they’re following bike safety guidelines during every ride.

“There’s, of course, a lot of things cyclists can do to try and protect themselves,” said Tara Escudero, Volunteer at Elmira Community Cycle. “But ultimately, it comes down to people driving a car and someone doesn’t look or doesn’t see you or doesn’t follow the right of way in an intersection or doesn’t give you the 3 feet required by law to pass you. All those things put cyclists in danger.”

According to the CDC, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants in vehicles.

Escudero said to decrease the number of crashes involving cyclists, you should ride with traffic, stay in the right lane, and have both a front white light and a red rear light on your bike when riding at night.

Escudero also said getting more bicyclists on the road during the summer serves as another method of safety. She explained when the number of cyclists who ride together increases, bicycle deaths decrease.

Elmira Community Bike Shop will have volunteers available to assist cyclists in a bike check before they pedal their way through the area.

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