Bicycle safety reminders to kick off National Bike Month

Posted at 4:35 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 17:39:17-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Wednesday kicks off National Bike Month, and it’s a great time to remind people of bike safety.

William Nottingham was catching the breeze Wednesday afternoon as he biked down the sidewalk on Colonial Avenue in Norfolk.

“I like the fact that it’s kind of freeing and you’re just on your own and you’re making an impact on the environment,” he told News 3.

Nottingham and a few of the other bikers didn't have on helmets as they pedaled across the city.

“I feel like I’m somewhat of an advanced biker. If you’re younger, I'd definitely wear a helmet, and if you’re not an experienced biker [I would] as well,” Nottingham explained.

According to the experts, your first line of defense is always a helmet.

The DMV reported that in 2017, there were 670 bike accidents, resulting in 13 deaths in Virginia.

It’s a number that didn't come as a shock to William Turney.

“Sometimes I think it’s just the people that drive just don’t really understand we have to follow the same rules as they do,” Turney said.

The City of Norfolk has been proactive with adding bike lanes like the one on Olney Road. Bikers tell us it’s a good start, but they’d like to see more.

“I prefer that there are more bike lanes in the city because it can be a little bit dangerous in certain areas,” Nottingham said. “I normally try to bike on the sidewalk if there is any traffic. If if there isn’t at all, I try to take up the roads so I’m not in anybody’s way.”

Related: Yorktown cyclist captures close encounter with aggressive driver on camera

Most cities in Hampton Roads allow biking on sidewalks, but Suffolk only allows it for people under 14.

Turney is against the idea.

“It’s more made for pedestrians and not for people riding on their bikes. You have two wheels for a reason: To be on the road,” he said.

Officials encourage drivers to share the road and check for bikers.

Cyclists should ride in the same direction as traffic and obey street signs.