As a step to develop Newport into a city that encourages cycling and enforces safe riding, Bike Newport hosted a class for Newport community leaders taught by the League of American Bicyclists to learn proper rules of the road.
"We asked everyone to participate as three people: as themselves, as advocates for their constituent group, and as a visitor in Newport, unfamiliar with our roads,” said organizer and instructor Allison McNally. “Those perspectives changed the way we all saw the riding experience and we gained a lot more insight.”
Instructor Ken Ruscetta stood with observers on the corner of Memorial Boulevard and Bellevue Avenue, and pointed out illegal and potentially unsafe maneuvers of unassociated cyclists who happened to pass by.
“That man went through a red light, and now he is stuck in the middle of the intersection,” Ruscetta pointed out to observer and school committee member Sandra Flowers.
"It's important that bicycle riders understand they are drivers, responsible for obeying the laws of traffic just like cars,” said organizer Steve Heath, who heads up the bike shop at East Bay Met.
Participant Chuck Albrecht, a Newport resident and long time cyclist, said that Newport has potential to be an excellent cycling town, but it needs to improve enforcement of the laws.
said that in effort to teach community members cycling laws, they have printed out pads that outline the rules in both Spanish and English. The pads will be distributed in schools, hotels, marinas, bike rental agencies as well as available through the community police offices.
Learn bicycle laws:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Always ride in the same direction of the traffic.
- Stay off the sidewalk if you are 13 years or older.
- Give pedestrians the right-of-way.
- Ride 2-3 feet away from the curb.
- Leave 2-3 feet between you and any car you are passing.
- Wear a helmet. REQUIRED up to 15 years old.
Follow these recommendations:
- Always use hand signals.
- Watch out for suddenly opening car doors.
- Ride single file.
- Make eye contact with motorists.
- Check behind you often.
- Never carry another person on your bicycle.
- Never use earphones while riding.
- Wear shoes, never flip-flops.
- Carry water with you to stay hydrated.
- Always use lights at night and early morning.
- Wear light colors and reflective bands to be more visible.
- Stay alert to everyone else using the road.
- Keep your bicycle in good condition: Check your tire pressure, brakes, cranks and chains before starting out.