As warm weather returns, so to will the cyclists to the roads

| May 5, 2020 8:20 AM

With the beginning of nice weather, many of us are heading outside to recreate on bicycles. Now seems like a good time to remind all of us how to safely and courteously share the road. The Montana Driver Manual and state law provide excellent guidance.

For cyclists:

• Under Montana law, bicycles are considered vehicles and are governed by the same traffic laws that reasonably apply to their operation — same roads, same rules, same rights and responsibilities.

• Ride with the flow of traffic.

• Ride as far to the right as judged safe by you to avoid road hazards.

• Ride in single file.

• Use hand signals to indicate your intention.

• Front and rear lights improve visibility even during the day.

• Wear a helmet.

For drivers:

• Stay alert and make adjustments when passing or sharing the roadway with a bicycle.

• When approaching a cyclist from behind, treat them as you would any other slow-moving vehicle. Slow down to the speed of the cyclist and wait for a safe time to pass.

• Give the cyclist a recommended five-foot distance when passing.

• Don’t honk or yell at a cyclist to get their attention.

• Use extra caution when encountering youth on bikes. They have much less experience with vehicle traffic.

For additional information, please visit BikeWalkMontana.org or call 406-449-2787.

Remember all of us on the roadways are someone’s family, friend or loved one. Let’s share the road responsibly and keep each other safe.

The author is a resident of Kalispell and member of the Bike Walk Montana Board