County cyclists, runners should focus on safety

Published 12:57 pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

As more people take advantage of the summer weather, Shelby County roads become increasingly crowded with cyclists and runners.

Chris Storie with Cahaba Cycles in Pelham said there’s several safety guidelines cyclists and runners need to keep in mind while out on the roads.

“For cycling, follow all the rules of the road and follow the local and state laws for cycling and running,” Storie said. “Learn what to do and what not to do.”

He said it’s important that cyclists have front and rear reflectors on their bicycles, as well as front and rear flashing lights. Bicyclists and runners should also wear reflective, brightly colored clothes, especially when visibility is low, such as early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

However, such clothing should be worn at all times to heighten visibility.

“If you’re in a park, it would be good to wear something that stands out from the woods so that someone can see if you if something were to happen to you,” Storie said.

Storie said sunset and sunrise are the most dangerous times of the day to run or cycle along roads because of lower visibility and less traffic.

“People pay more attention in traffic than when there’s no traffic,” he said.

He said people should also be careful not to ride or run near construction sites or along high-traffic highways, such as U.S. 280. Cyclists and runners should never go on the interstates.

When going out, cyclists and runners should make sure to have identification, insurance information and emergency contact numbers in case of an accident. It’s best to exercise with at least one other person, Storie said.

“Always let someone know that you’re leaving and where you’re potentially going,” he said.