May is here and it’s National Bike Month. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, it is a tradition that has been celebrated throughout the United States since 1956. In Harris and Montgomery Counties, the dates are listed below for the events. Nationally, the third week of the month is designated as Bike to Work Week. Bike to Work Day is designated the third Friday in May.
In celebration of National Bike Month, Ron Voyles & Associates encourages you to give biking a try. It’s a perfect time to dust off that old bike, air up the tires, and take a spin. In addition, we would like to inspire motorists to keep a watchful eye out for bicyclists on the road. Educate yourself on the dangers of distracted driving, texting and the direct effect on cyclist injuries and fatalities. When it comes to car and truck crashes, cycling injuries, and deaths, both sides (motorists and cyclists) like to point the finger at the other group. We both share the blame. In the Houston, Conroe, Huntsville, and surrounding communities we have hundreds of thousands of drivers and thousands of cyclists on the road every day. Making sure everyone knows the rules of the road can go a long way toward reducing the number of injuries suffered each year. In the Houston area alone, we’ve had twenty-three bike riders killed in the last five years.
I typically avoid cycling on the road. Why? Montgomery and Walker Counties are still rural with only two lane roads in many places. Many roads like Longmire in Conroe have no shoulder. Therefore, the space between you and the vehicles is slim. Your margin for error is narrow. To further the problem, we live in Texas. It’s hot. Therefore, riding early in the morning is necessary. It’s dark. It’s foggy. It’s early and drivers are not paying attention. In a bicycle-vehicle crash, the bike is going to lose. So, what can you do? Bike responsibly.