Thursday, June 2, 2011

Teaming up with top cyclists to promote respectful riding

As part of the Safe Streets project, Local Motion is teaming up with some of Vermont’s top cyclists to promote riding by the rules of the road.  We’re working with the “Tuesday Night Worlds” ride, a fast-paced ride that starts in South Burlington and circles through Shelburne and Charlotte every Tuesday evening after work.  Our goal is to support ride leaders as they work to make this ride a model for how cyclists and motorists can each get where they are going — and get along with each other in the process.
Bobby Bailey orients cyclists about ride etiquette
About 40 riders showed up on May 24, which was our kick-off event.  Bobby Bailey, a cycling coach and regular participant in the Tuesday ride, emphasized the importance of holding to a tight double pace line (that is, no more than two riders abreast) for the first few miles until the group got out onto quieter country roads.  He also made it clear that they would be stopping as a group at stop signs and crossing together so as to minimize their impact on traffic flow.
“This ride can be pretty competitive,” Bailey said.  “People get in race mode, and all they focus on is keeping up with the guy in front of them.”  The best way to make sure that riders stop for stop signs, he explained, is to set the ride up so that everyone agrees to stop. That way, riding by the rules doesn’t make a rider fall behind the pack, and stopping becomes the norm.
Officer Josh Flore and riders listen to the pre-ride orientation
Officer Josh Flore of the Shelburne Police Department joined the group at the start of the ride to talk about safe and respectful riding.  He then met the riders at Irish Hill Road and Mount Philo Road in Shelburne, a busy intersection where riding by the rules is especially important.  “The riders did great,” he said.  “They stopped just like they should and then moved through fast.”
Starting June 6, Local Motion will be running ads on The Point family of radio stations about respectful riding, driving, and walking.  Listen for the ads, then visit our website at for more info and resources!
Many thanks to the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program, which is the lead funder of the Safe Streets project.

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