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Be active: Bike!

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UPDATED: 6.1.14

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Photo credit: Veronique Blandeare (Naked Art Gallery)

Bicycle riding is a fun and easy way to get exercise in our city. Many roads have plenty of room for cyclists and cars to co-exist safely. Every day, Birmingham is becoming more accessible for people who want to ride.

Not only are bicycles great for staying physically active, they also provide an alternative means of transportation. Imagine going on a bike ride to your favorite restaurant or to a baseball game. No need to hunt for parking! Adding cycling into your daily routine for travel makes it easy to achieve your physical activity goals. It will also improve your day, by providing a chance to get out of a car and interacting more with your community.

There are a few important things to do to keep you safe while cycling:

  1. Follow the traffic rules.
  2. Cyclists have a right to ride on the road, but also must follow the traffic rules just as a car would. Ride with the flow of traffic in the far right lane. Don’t be afraid to “take the lane”, which means to ride in the center of the traffic lane, to ensure you are seen by cars and passed safely.
  3. Always wear a helmet. Alabama law does not require that adult cyclists wear helmets, but helmets save lives.
  4. Be sure to have lights and reflectors on your bike.
  5. It is important to be as visible as possible to motorists.
  6. Wear clothing that is not too loose. Loose cloth might get stuck in the moving parts of your bike.
  7. Have fun!

Want to learn more about cycling in Birmingham, looking to buy a bike of your own, or need help repairing your bike? Check out Bici Bicycle Cooperative, a non-profit organization in Highland Park devoted to increasing bicycle accessibility in our city. For more info about Bici, go to www.bicicoop.org

Written by: Anna Ball Carrigan, MPH (co-Founder: Bici Coop)

Photo credits: Veronique Blandeare (Naked Art Gallery)